Navy suspends search for missing USS McCain sailors

Navy suspends search for missing USS McCain sailors
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The Navy on Thursday suspended its search and rescue efforts for the remaining missing sailors from the USS John S. McCain and confirmed the identities of the sailor whose remains have been found and those still missing.

“After more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts, the U.S. Navy suspended search and rescue efforts for missing U.S.S. John S. McCain (DDG 56) sailors in an approximately 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore,” the 7th Fleet said in a press release Thursday.

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Early Monday, the McCain, a guided missile destroyer, collided with a Liberian-flagged oil tanker east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore. Ten sailors went missing.

Divers found the remains of one sailor, whom the Navy identified Thursday as Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of Cherry Hill, N.J.

The Navy identified the nine still missing as:

  • Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, of Amazonia, Mo.
  • Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, of El Paso, Texas
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, of Gaithersburg, Md.
  • Electronics Technician 2nd Class Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, of Cable, Ohio
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, of Manchester, Md.
  • Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, of Poughkeepsie, N.Y.
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Suffield, Conn.
  • Electronics Technician 3rd Class John Henry Hoagland III, 20, of Killeen, Texas
  • Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, of Decatur, Ill.

The Navy will continue searching for these sailors in the flooded compartments of the ship, according to the release.

The McCain crash came about two months after the USS Fitzgerald destroyer collided with a Philippine-flagged container ship southwest of Japan. Seven sailors were killed in the Fitzgerald crash.

On Wednesday, the Navy announced it fired Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, commander of the 7th Fleet. Both the USS McCain and Fitzgerald are part of the 7th Fleet. Aucion was relieved of his command “due to a loss of confidence in his ability to command,” according to a press release. 

The House Armed Services Committee announced Wednesday it will hold a hearing on the underlying causes of both collisions when Congress returns in September.