Malaysia sends help to search for missing crew

US warship collision exposes Singapore-Malaysia sea dispute

US warship collision exposes Singapore-Malaysia sea dispute

The Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) is leading the search and rescue (SAR) operation for 10 missing crewmen of the United States Navy guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain, which collided with a merchant vessel in east Johor waters.

Malaysia has sent several of its military assets to assist in the search and rescue of 10 crew reported unaccounted for by a United States guided-missile destroyer following a collision with a merchant vessel near Singapore early today.

"The 5.30am incident happened 4.5 nautical miles from our coast in Teluk Ramunia". We are conducting a separate SAR operation from Singapore. The search and rescue led by MMEA is divided into four parts covering 100-mile nautical sectors.

He also clarified that the collision happened in Malaysian waters and not Singaporean waters.

"The assets on the ground are, however, communicating with each other to avoid collision", he said.

He added that the Indonesian navy is also sending two ships, KRI Parang and KRI Cucuk, to aid in the SAR.

He said while he did not want to speculate on what caused the collision, he noted that the area was a busy maritime passage.

"It is the entrance to the Singapore Straits and Malacca Straits, which sees over 80,000 ships passing through it yearly", he said.

"USS John S. McCain suffered a gash on its port side while it is unclear if the Liberian registered MV Alnic suffered any damage", he said. "At the moment, three ships, five boats and a helicopter have been deployed", he told reporters at MMEA headquarters, here, this afternoon.

Zulkifli said that there was no sign of the missing sailors so far.

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