Malaysia forms special probe team on USS warship collision

BY ALLISON LAI and JUSTIN ZACK|

PORT KLANG: Malaysia has formed a special team to investigate the collision of a US warship and a Liberian-flagged merchant vessel seven nautical miles off the coast of Johor.

“We are currently working with both the Singapore and the US governments to assist and also look into the incident,” said Transport Minister Datuk Seri Liow Tiong Lai.

“Our team will investigate what actually transpired that day,” he said after opening the Asean Regional Training Centre for Vessel Traffic Services (VTS) at the Maritime Transport Training Institute here on Tuesday.

Also present were Japan’s Minister of Land, Infrastructure, Transport and Tourism, Keiichi Ishii.

The US 7th Fleet reported that the USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, collided with the Alnic MC at 5.24am on Aug 21.

The accident occurred when the US Navy ship was making its way to Singapore for a routine visit. Its home port is Yokosuka in Japan.

Malaysia had dispatched ships and a helicopter to help in search-and-rescue (SAR) operations for the missing sailors.

The SAR was officially called off at 9.30am on Monday, according to Malaysia Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar.

“The conclusion of the SAR mission came following the official statement by the commander of the US 7th Fleet that all 10 bodies have been found.

“The statement has also been verified by the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur,” he said in a statement Monday.

MMEA thanked all that assisted in SAR mission, Zulkifli added.

“I would also like to take this opportunity to express my condolences to the US Navy family, especially (those) on the USS John S. McCain,” he said.

Source: News Now/The Star Online

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About Cholo Brooks 13351 Articles
Joel Cholo Brooks is a Liberian journalist who previously worked for several international news outlets including the BBC African Service. He is the CEO of the Global News Network which publishes two local weeklies, The Star and The GNN-Liberia Newspapers. He is a member of the Press Union Of Liberia (PUL) since 1986, and several other international organizations of journalists, and is currently contributing to the South Africa Broadcasting Corporation as Liberia Correspondent.