U.S. Navy says remains found by Malaysia
not of a USS McCain sailor
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[August 24, 2017]
By Aradhana Aravindan
SINGAPORE (Reuters) - The U.S. Navy said on
Thursday human remains found by Malaysia were not one of its 10 sailors
missing after a collision between one of its guided-missile destroyers
and a merchant vessel east of Singapore this week.
Medical examination of the remains, which the Malaysian navy discovered
about eight nautical miles northwest of where the USS John S. McCain and
a merchant vessel collided on Monday, confirmed it was not one of the 10
sailors, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said in a statement. The body would be
returned to Malaysian authorities.
An international search-and-rescue operation involving aircraft, divers
and vessels is looking for the missing sailors over an area of about
5,500 square kilometers around the crash site.
On Tuesday, U.S. Navy and Marine divers found remains of missing sailors
inside sealed sections of the damaged hull of the John S. McCain, which
is moored at Singapore's Changi Naval Base. The Navy has not announced
the identity or number of those found in the ship.
Four sailors injured in the crash left a Singapore hospital on Wednesday
and have returned to duty, the U.S. Seventh Fleet said.
The pre-dawn collision was the fourth major accident for the U.S.
Pacific Fleet this year and has prompted a review of its operations.
The Navy on Wednesday removed Seventh Fleet Commander Vice Admiral
Joseph Aucoin citing "a loss of confidence in his ability to command"
following the run of accidents.
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Royal Malaysian Navy personnel carry a body onto their ship during a
search and rescue operation for survivors of the USS John McCain
ship collision in Malaysian waters in this undated handout released
August 22, 2017. Royal Malaysian Navy Handout via REUTERS
Aucoin was due to step down next month. Rear Admiral Phil Sawyer
takes command of the fleet.
This week, the U.S. Navy flagged plans for temporary and staggered
halts in operations across its global fleet to allow staff to focus
On Wednesday, Seventh Fleet ships deployed at a facility in
Yokosuka, Japan, participated in a one-day operational pause in
which officers and crew underwent fresh risk management and
The Seventh Fleet, headquartered in Japan, operates as many as 70
ships, including the U.S. Navy's only forward-deployed aircraft
carrier, and has about 140 aircraft and 20,000 sailors.
(Reporting by Aradhana Aravindan; Writing by Sam Holmes; Editing by
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