A Navy guided-missile destroyer, the USS John S. McCain, collided with a commercial vessel east of Singapore early Monday morning local time, the Navy said.
There were 10 sailors missing and five injured, the Navy said.
The collision with the merchant ship Alnic MC occurred east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore at 6:24 a.m. Japan Standard Time, as the McCain was on its way for a routine port visit in Singapore, the Navy said.
“Initial reports indicate John S. McCain sustained damage to her port side aft,” the Navy said, adding that a search and rescue mission was already underway.
The ship is currently sailing under its own power and heading to port, according to a Navy statement.
The search and rescue effort was being aided by tug boats out of Singapore, as well as the Singapore Navy ship RSS Gallant, Singapore navy helicopters and a Police Coast Guard vessel.
MV-22 Ospreys and SH-60 Seahawks from the USS America are also responding, the Navy said.
Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, tweeted: “This is how crowded the waters are around Singapore where destroyer USS John S McCain collided with an oil tanker.”
Oliver Holmes of the Guardian newspaper re-tweeted Admiral Richardson’s comments:
Malaysia’s navy chief Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin tweeted a photo of the damaged ship on its way to Singapore after the collision, and announced that the country was sending ships and aircraft to assist in the search and rescue.