Sailors with ties to Illinois, Michigan and Ohio are among 10 who are missing after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia.
U.S. Rep. Rodney Davis said he was informed by Logan Palmer's family that the central Illinois man is missing. In Michigan, April Brandon said the military informed her that her son, Ken Smith, is also missing.
The family of Jacob Drake, 21, was told that the western Ohio man was among the missing, the Columbus Dispatched reported Tuesday.
The USS John McCain collided with an oil tanker off Singapore on Monday. Adm. Scott Swift said some bodies have been found in a flooded compartment of the warship. No other details have been released.
Brandon said Smith's father, stepmother and grandfather served in the Navy. She said Smith, 22, grew up in Novi, Mich., and moved to Norfolk, Va., as a teen with his father.
"His father and I couldn't be prouder of our son," Brandon said. "He's a great kid. He's a hero."
Davis, a Republican whose district includes the Decatur area, said Palmer comes from a "patriotic family." He enlisted in 2016.
"Our military must do whatever necessary to minimize incidents like this and protect those who risk their lives each day in service to our country," Davis said.
Singaporean and Malaysian navy ships and helicopters had joined American aircraft searching for the sailors at sea. But earlier Tuesday, Navy and Marine Corps divers were sent into the compartments in the damaged part of the destroyer that had been sealed to stop the ship from being flooded. The ship is now moored at Changi naval base in Singapore.
The Malaysian Navy reported it had found a body, but it was not yet clear if it was one of the missing sailors. The body is in the process of being transferred to the U.S. Navy for identification, Swift said.
It was "premature" to say how many bodies had been found, Swift said.
There were no further details, and the search is still ongoing, Swift said. He added that ship suffered "significant damage" and investigators were seeking to piece together "what happened and how it happened."
Tuesday's statement will come as a heavy blow to the Navy but particularly to the 7th Fleet based in Yokosuka, Japan.
Yokosuka is the home port for both the McCain and for the USS Fitzgerald, which was involved in a surprisingly similar collision just over two months ago, leading to seven sailors being killed.
The Fitzgerald collided with a container ship south of Japan, leading to significant damage to its hull and a frantic effort to seal off the damage and stop the rest of the ship from flooding. Seven sailors were trapped in their berthing compartment in the process, and all drowned.
The McCain collision was the Navy's fourth major accident at sea in Asia this year, following the Fitzgerald incident, a collision between the guided-missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain and a South Korean fishing vessel on May 9, and the guided-missile cruiser USS Antietam running aground Jan. 31 in Tokyo Bay, near Yokosuka.
The Navy's top admiral on Monday ordered a fleetwide review of seamanship and training in the Pacific after the latest collision.
The series of accidents in the Pacific "demands more-forceful action," Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, told reporters Monday, adding that there is "great cause for concern that there is something we are not getting at."
He ordered Navy fleets across the world to take a day or two within the next week to review their procedures and training to make sure they are operating safely.
The McCain is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer — named after the father and grandfather of Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., and nicknamed "Big Bad John" — that had been on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore after patrolling in the South China Sea.
The collision occurred just east of the Strait of Malacca, a 550-mile-long stretch of water that runs between the Malay Peninsula and the Indonesian island of Sumatra, connecting the Pacific and Indian oceans, and is one of the world's busiest shipping lanes.
The collision caused significant damage to the hull, flooded nearby compartments, including crew berthing, machinery and communications rooms, the 7th Fleet said in a statement.
The Washington Post contributed to this report.