August 24, 2017
by Elizabeth McGlaughlin
The U.S. Navy has identified the nine missing sailors from the USS John S. McCain, as search and rescue efforts were suspended on Thursday.
The McCain sailor who died in the collision has been identified as Electronic Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of New Jersey. Divers recovered his remains inside the ship’s flooded compartments.
Crews from Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia and Australia spent more than 80 hours looking for the 10 sailors who went missing on Monday morning after their guided-missile destroyer collided with a Liberian-flagged tanker, the Alnic MC.
According to the Navy, the search covered an approximately 2,100-square-mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. The McCain is now docked at Changi Naval Station in Singapore.
“U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers will continue search and recovery efforts inside flooded compartments in the ship for the missing Sailors,” the Navy said.
Monday’s deadly collision was the second for the 7th Fleet in recent months and followed two other mishaps involving Navy ships in the Pacific. In June, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship off the coast of Japan, killing seven U.S. sailors who could not escape flooded areas inside the ship.
The commander of the 7th Fleet, Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, was already relieved of duties this week after it was determined the Navy had lost confidence in his ability to lead the fleet.
The nine missing sailors 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 Navy continues to investigate the circumstances surrounding the McCain’s collision. But a U.S. official told ABC News on Tuesday that an initial report indicated the McCain reported a loss of steering in the minutes prior to the collision.
Even if the McCain did lose steering ability, the official cautioned the crew would have been trained to handle such a situation, including taking evasive maneuvers to avoid a collision with an incoming vessel.