PUTRAJAYA – Search-and-rescue (SAR) operations for those crew members of the American destroyer USS John S McCain who were lost in the waters off Teluk Ramunia, Johor last Monday, were terminated this morning.
In a statement, Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA) director-general, Maritime Admiral Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar said the SAR operations were called off at 9.30am, following an official statement by the Commander of the Seventh Armada of the US Navy which stated that all 10 bodies of the crew reported missing had been recovered in the vessel’s compartments by US Navy and Marine Corps divers.
He said the statement was confirmed by the US Embassy in Kuala Lumpur.
About 5.40am last Monday, the USS John S McCain collided with Liberia-registered merchant vessel Alnic MC, causing five of the American ship’s crew to be injured and 10 others missing in the waters off Teluk Ramunia, Kota Tinggi, Johor.
The SAR operations covered 1,260 nautical square miles of ocean and 1,400 nautical square miles of air space, involving more than 500 individuals, 12 ships and boats and five airplanes.
Meanwhile, Zulkifli, on behalf of the MMEA thanked all agencies involved in the four-day SAR operations from Aug 21 to 24. – BERNAMA