“It is with great sadness that we learned today of the United States sailor fatalities …”
The White House issued a press release after the remains of several US Navy sailors were discovered following a collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker in Southeast Asian waters early Monday.
“It is with great sadness that we learned today of the United States sailor fatalities following the August 21st collision between the guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain and a merchant vessel, which occurred east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore,” the statement read.
“As the Navy begins the process of recovering our fallen sailors, our thoughts and prayers go out to their families and friends.”
The McCain was traveling to Singapore on a routine port visit when it collided with an oil tanker. Ten sailors were initially deemed missing, and five were injured following the incident. There was no immediate explanation for the collision, according to the Associated Press.
The McCain's collision would be the second in two months involving the Navy's Japan-based Seventh Fleet. In June, the USS Fitzgerald collided with a tanker ship, killing seven sailors. The Navy has ordered a broad probe after four ship accidents in the western Pacific since February, according to The New York Times.
“We are grateful for the rescue and recovery efforts of the officers and crew of the USS John S. McCain, the Malaysian Coast Guard, Royal Malaysian Navy, and Royal Singaporean Navy,” the White House's statement continued. “The Department of Defense will conduct a thorough and complete investigation of the incident.”