US Navy to remove admiral in Asia after collisions, deaths

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Vice-Admiral Joseph Aucoin, US 7th Fleet commander, attends a media briefing on the status of the US Navy destroyer USS Fitzgerald, damaged by colliding with a Philippine-flagged merchant vessel, and the seven missing Fitzgerald crew members, at the US naval base in Yokosuka, south of Tokyo, on June 18, 2017. Photo: Reuters/Toru Hanai

The US Navy plans to remove from duty the commander of the fleet that has suffered four recent collisions in Asia and the deaths of a number of sailors, The Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday, citing US officials.

Vice-Admiral Joseph Aucoin, the three-star commander of the US Seventh Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan, was to be relieved of command on Wednesday in connection with four collisions since January, including two involving fatalities, two US officials said, according to the Journal. It said navy officials declined to comment.

In the latest incident on Monday, the USS John S McCain and the tanker Alnic MC collided near Singapore, tearing a hole in the warship’s side and flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area. Ten sailors are reported missing.

US Navy and Marine Corps divers on Tuesday found what were termed human remains inside the guided-missile destroyer, said Admiral Scott Swift, the commander of the US Pacific Fleet.

“The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search,” Swift told reporters at Singapore’s Changi Naval Base, where the vessel is docked for damage assessment.

An international search-and-rescue continues for the missing sailors.

Source

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