U.S. Navy calls off rescue operation for missing sailors

Aug. 24 (UPI) — The U.S. Navy has called off its search-and-rescue operation for sailors missing after the USS John S. McCain collided with a merchant ship near Singapore this week.

It is now a recovery operation for the U.S. Navy and Marine Corps, whose forces are searching flooded compartments of the destroyer for nine sailors the Navy named Thursday morning. The Navy also confirmed Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, of New Jersey, died in the wreck.

Those missing include: Electronics Technician 1st Class Charles Nathan Findley, 31, of Missouri; Interior Communications Electrician 1st Class Abraham Lopez, 39, of Texas; Electronics Technicians 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, of Maryland, and Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, of Ohio;
Information Systems Technicians 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, of Maryland, and Corey George Ingram, 28, of New York; Electronics Technicians 3rd Class Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, of Connecticut, and John Henry Hoagland III, 20, of Texas; and Interior Communications Electrician 3rd Class Logan Stephen Palmer, 23, of Illinois.

Four U.S. sailors injured during the crash have returned to service after receiving hospital treatment.

The Arleigh Burke-class destroyer crashed into a Liberian-flagged merchant ship Monday, leading to the U.S. sailors’ disappearance.

When the U.S. Pacific Command announced the discovery of remains of some of the missing sailors Tuesday, it added that the Malaysian navy had found “potential” remains.

But earlier Thursday morning, the U.S. Navy announced that those remains the Malaysian navy found were not from one the missing sailors.

Medical testing ruled out any relationship, the U.S. Navy said.

The search-and-rescue effort — with support from Malaysia, Australia, Indonesia and Singapore — stretched over roughly 2,100 square miles.

Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin was relieved from his command at the helm of the U.S. Navy’s Pacific Fleet following the incident and another collision in June, which killed seven sailors.

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