USS J McCain / Alnic MC collision near Singapore

4 collisions in 1 year

USS John S. McCain
USS Fitzgerald
USS Louisiana
USS Lake Champlain


overdue for a safety stand down, regardless of fault.



Wow, just wow. Un-fricking-believable!

10 missing!!! 10! I’m just absolutely livid for the blue jackets paying the price for all of this bull*#%.


Assuming the McCain was stand on vessel (which we have reason to assume and no reason to doubt), it still failed to avoid being rammed and put out of action. WTF.


Without knowing what happened, without knowing the ship, without knowing the officers and without knowing the crew you are still able to make this judgement??? Unbelieveable! Better to withhold judgement until the facts come to light.

I have no problem speculating about this SYSTEMIC PROBLEM. No excuses for collision given capabilities of this ship vs tanker.

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It’s training. Or lack of quality practical training and experience. I can confidently say that having sailed both sides. They probably had an ENS as OOD, with not much training at all.

You have a point there, but still…

It will be interesting to see if the ships had entered already the straits’ shipping lanes


I am dissapointed about the continued slow action by US Navy in releasing all the factual data related to the Fitz accident.
If the facts (even only the facts) were released a week ago, We wouldn’t have to see another disastrous news today. Sharing painfully learned lessons accurately as quickly as possible is the indication of the strong will to prevent reoccurence of the tragidy in any organization. I am making this coment even though I don’t know the detailes of the accident near Malaysia.


I think this might be the best thing that could have happened to the US Navy.

I believe that the USN has a problem with navigation proficiency. When it sets its mind to it, this organization has shown ability to change, improve, or operate safely. As examples I give you the naval aviation program, which has improved from horrible 70 years ago to nearly as safe as can be expected (considering the constraints) today. As well, the US Navy appears to have operated a large nuclear fleet with nearly zero nuclear incidents. When the Navy aspires to a goal, it accomplishes it.

After the Fitz, I imagine “stuff happens; we sacked the bridge complement” might have sufficed. With this, so soon afterward, no more. Training and watchkeeping procedures will need to be changed. It is, in a sense, an “accident” that these two incidents happened so close together in time, but I suspect (hope?) that the Navy will end up better for it.

clearly they get 10 out of 10 for stealthiness, nobody can see them


Assuming the ship didnt suddenly turn right I cant imagine where the USN vessel was going

By the looks of the sustained damage the ship was probably hit by the tanker’s bulbous bow. The speed of the tanker seems to have been low as there is no impact made by the bow section to the hull above the hole.

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Collision in the same area 4 days ago.

Haring transited every 14 days on some trades, and working Trenganu from Singapore this area can be as dangerous as the Straits proper.

Traffic is emerging / diverging / crossing / speeding up / slowing down as they are coming into the TSS from every direction.

A long term solution would be a super roundabout similar to the Noord Hinder in the North Sea.

Re the Mcain / Crystal / Porter the bridge procedures are a shambles, they are over trained, over manned but under experienced and underwhelmed.

IMHO the best and cheapest way for the USN to address this is to buy a handful of MPP vessels, attach them to MSC and trade them Singapore / Incheon / Yokasuka. Before achieving command of XO they should get a year of sea-time on those vessels


Here we go again - USS John S McCain collided with the oil tanker Alnic MC 21 August 2017 in the Malacca straits and plenty people are upset. Haven’t I seen it before?

The International Colregs apply to all vessels.

The USN seems to make it up as they go along assuming they are always right.

This has become legend.

Either hire civilian watch officers or implement a program using CWOs as their OOD and “master” (the most experienced watch stander who the OODs call if in doubt). I bet they could get a bunch of USMM officers to go CWO right now, especially if they credited time sailing on your license as “years of experience” for pay (and retirement) purposes. I’d even take 2 for 1 credit towards retirement.


Another collision by a USN destroyer and another in an area that is prone to such incidents.

This may be the most difficult area to navigate due to the convergence of ships from every direction heading for the entrance of Singapore Strait and the beginning of the Traffic Separation Scheme and Singapore VTS zone.

At the same time vessels are emerging from the East bound TSS and splitting up to head for different destinations, both in the Gulf of Thailand, Vietnam and all points to the North, as well as some turning South East towards Karimata Strait and the Java Sea.

What happened here and who to blame is too early to say, but one thing for sure, this is not a place to leave responsibility for collision avoidance to anybody without proper training and experience.

Here is the report on CNA, which is not much different from all other news sources:

This map from Marine Traffic supposedly shows the position of the collision, right in the most difficult area East of Horsburgh L/H:

Whether this will lead to a change in the way the USN train their officers is left to be seen, but the need to do so appears to be obvious.

PS> The Alnic MC is now at anchor on Changi Special Purpose Anchorage, not far from Changi Naval Base, where the McCain is moored.