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Navy Calls Off McCain Rescue Efforts, IDs 1 Dead, 9 Missing

The Navy has ended its search and rescue efforts for 10 sailors missing after the destroyer John S. McCain collided with a Liberian-flagged tanker near Singapore early Monday morning.

The loss of these ten sailors in the tragic disaster, coming just months after seven sailors died in a similar collision involving the destroyer Fitzgerald in June, means that more troops have died in Navy non-combat mishaps this summer than have died in action during the entirety of the three-year fight against the Islamic State in Iraq and Syria. According to Defense Department statistics, 12 U.S. troops have been killed in action since that fight began in 2014.

In an announcement Thursday morning, Navy officials said they had recovered the remains of one sailor and continued to search for nine others believed lost in the collision.

The Navy identified the missing USS McCain sailors as, top row from left, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, N.J.; Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Mo.; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Md.; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio; bottom row from left, Informatio

The Navy identified the missing USS McCain sailors as, top row from left, Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from Cherry Hill, N.J.; Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Mo.; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Md.; Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio; bottom row from left, Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Md.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Conn.; Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas; Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Ill. Not pictured: Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from Poughkeepsie, N.Y. (U.S. Navy photos)

The deceased sailor who was found is Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from New Jersey.

The missing are:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Missouri
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, from Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Maryland
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Maryland
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, from New York
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Connecticut
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, from Illinois
The Royal Malaysian Navy announced earlier this week that it had recovered another unidentified set of remains, but Navy officials said late Wednesday that the remains were not one of the missing sailors, and are being returned to Malaysia.

Navy and Marine Corps divers continue to search the flooded compartments of the McCain, now in port at Singapore's Changi Naval Base, to find the missing.

The search-and-rescue effort for the missing sailors spanned more than 80 hours and spanned a 2,100-square mile region east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The navies of Malaysia and Singapore and the Australian air force all contributed to the search with ships and aircraft, while the amphibious assault ship America provided food and berthing to displaced sailors from the McCain.

The tragedy took place around 6:30a.m. local time Monday, just after the McCain had transited through the Straits of Malacca en route to port in Singapore. It was struck by the tanker Alnic MC, sustaining significant damage to its port side aft and flooding in crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms.

In the wake of the disaster, which comes soon after a remarkably similar collision involving the McCain in June, Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson ordered all Navy fleets around the globe to observe a one-to-two day operational pause to examine safety procedures, and commissioned a wide-ranging review of Navy procedures, pre-deployment training and certification, and surface warfare officer training to determine how the service could improve.

The commander of U.S. Pacific Fleet, Adm. Scott Swift, on Wednesday relieved the three-star commander of 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, citing a loss of confidence in his ability to command.

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