10 sailors missing after US destroyer collides with oil tanker

Four injured sailors have been airlifted to hospital for treatment

10 sailors missing after US destroyer collides with oil tanker

In this photo taken Saturday, Aug. 13, 2011, the USS John S. McCain (DDG-56) destroyer sails off the coast of Vietnam. Picture by: Na Son Nguyen/AP/Press Association Images

Ten sailors are missing after a US destroyer collided with an oil tanker during a routine port visit to Singapore, the US Navy has said.

The USS John S McCain suffered damage on its side after the collision with the Alnic MC at 5.24am local time, but is sailing under its own power and heading to Changi naval base on Singapore's east coast.

The US navy's 7th Fleet said: "There are currently 10 sailors missing and five injured... search and rescue efforts are underway in coordination with local authorities.

"The extent of damage and personnel injuries is being determined. The incident will be investigated."

Four of the injured sailors have been airlifted to hospital for treatment. The fifth injured sailor did not require medical attention.

A search-and-rescue mission is under way involving Singaporean ships, helicopters and tug boats, as well as US Navy aircraft.

The collision involving a ship from the 7th Fleet in the Pacific is the second in two months.

Seven sailors died in June when the USS Fitzgerald and a container ship hit each other in waters off Japan.

The Fitzgerald's captain was relieved of command and other sailors would be punished after the Navy found poor seamanship and flaws in keeping watch contributed to the collision, the Navy said last week.

An investigation into how and why the Fitzgerald collided with the other ship was not finished, but enough details were known to take those actions, the Navy said.

The Alnic MC is a Liberian-flagged, 183 metre-long oil tanker of 50,760 tonnes, according to shipping data in Thomson Reuters Eikon.

There have been no reports of an oil spill.

The USS John S McCain is named after Republican Senator John McCain, a Vietnam War-era naval aviator who was shot down and held prisoner for five years.

"Cindy & I are keeping America's sailors aboard the USS John S McCain in our prayers tonight - appreciate the work of search & rescue crews," Mr McCain said on Twitter.

President Donald Trump tweeted: