KUANTAN: The Royal Malaysian Navy has found a body in the search and rescue operation for 10 missing US sailors following the collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker off Johor.
The body was found eight nautical miles west of the location of the collision, according to a statement by the navy on Tuesday.
The navy said the body has been transferred to the frigate KD Lekiu and will be handed over to the US navy on Wednesday.
"Our prayers and thoughts remain with the families of those missing from the USS John McCain after Monday’s tragic incident," said Royal Malaysian Navy chief Admiral Tan Sri Ahmad Kamarulzaman Ahmad Badaruddin.
He said the navy remains resolute and steadfast in its efforts to continue with the search and rescue operation, together with its foreign counterparts and other agencies.
"We reaffirm our commitment with renewed vigour, sparing no effort in terms of searching for those unaccounted for.
"Incidents like this remind us about the fragility of life, and to value the ties that bind us together," he said.
Earlier, the AFP reported that divers have found human remains in the sealed compartments of the damaged warship.
”The divers were able to locate some remains in those sealed compartments during their search today,” Admiral Scott Swift told reporters, referring to a search by divers of compartments on the damaged warship USS John S. McCain.
The USS John S. McCain, a guided-missile destroyer, suffered a gash on its port side when it collided with the Liberian registered MV Alnic at 5.30am, some 4.5 nautical miles from the coast in Teluk Ramunia on Monday.
It was the second such accident in two months involving a US warship after the USS Fitzgerald collided with a Philippine-flagged cargo ship off Japan in June, leaving seven sailors dead.
US admiral: Divers have located human remains in warship