Malaysia will lead the search and rescue operation for 10 American sailors who are missing after a US missile destroyer and merchant ship collided, says the Malaysian Maritime Enforcement Agency (MMEA).
The local English speaking daily The Star reported.
The director-general, Admiral Datuk Zulkifli Abu Bakar, said certain foreign reports stating that the operation was being led by Singapore and the collision between the USS John S. McCain and oil tanker MV Alnic MC occurred in Singaporean waters were not true.
He said the accident happened at 5.30am some 4.5 nautical miles from the coast in Teluk Ramunia.
“It is in our waters, so we are leading the SAR operations. There is no sign of the missing sailors so far,” he told reporters at the MMEA headquarters here yesterday.
He said various assets have been deployed by the MMEA, Royal Malaysian Navy and maritime police in the operation.
As we reported earlier, the U.S. States Navy vessel, a guided-missile destroyer USS John S. McCain ran into Alnic MC, the merchant ship not far from the Malaysian coast.
According to the U.S. 7th Fleet, where the ship belongs, the incident took place east of the Straits of Malacca and Singapore on Monday.