Remains of missing US Navy sailors found aboard USS John S. McCain

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The "trend" of incidents demands a forceful action, Richardson said on Monday, as the Navy paused operations in all U.S. fleets following the collision of the guided missile destroyer USS John S McCain with a merchant ship off Singapore.

According to US Pacific Fleet Commander Admiral Scott H. Swift, the search for the other missing sailors is still underway.

"Additionally, the Malaysian Navy has reported that they have located potential remains", Swift said. The impact tore a hole in the warship's waterline, flooding compartments that included a crew sleeping area, the US Navy said.

"Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with the families of those sailors and the families of our sailors who were injured", he said in the statement, issued from Singapore's Changi Naval Base today, where the damaged USS McCain is docked and where the tanker that it collided with is anchored.

"The U.S. Navy, which likes to claim its presence can help safeguard "freedom of navigation" in the South China Sea, is proving to be an increasing hindrance to ships sailing in Asian waters", the newspaper said in an unsigned editorial. "The transferring of the body to the U.S. Navy will be done tomorrow".

Earlier, another US Navy official told CNN there were indications the destroyer experienced a loss of steering right before the collision, but steering had been regained afterward. The Indonesian navy said it had deployed two warships. The U.S. Seventh Fleet is headquartered in Japan.

Navy Adm. John Richardson, the chief of naval operations, on Monday ordered a pause in 7th Fleet operations for the next few days to allow commanders to get together with leaders, sailors and command officials and identify any immediate steps that need to be taken to ensure safety. On June 17, the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided off the coast of Japan with a much heavier container ship, drowning seven sailors after a berthing compartment inside the ship flooded in less than a minute. The US, Singapore and Malaysia launched a large-scale search and rescue operation on Monday to locate the missing sailors. "The search-and-rescue efforts continue".

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U.S. Vice President Mike Pence said to have sailors killed in two collisions this year was disconcerting. "It is clear their damage control efforts saved the ship and saved lives".

The Navy said "the collision was avoidable and both ships demonstrated poor seamanship".

The guided-missile cruiser USS Champlain collided with a South Korean fishing boat while conducting operations near the Korean Peninsula in May.

The admiral did not rule out some kind of outside interference or a cyber-attack being behind the latest collision, but said he did not want to prejudge the inquiry.

The warship was on its way to a routine port visit in Singapore when the collision occurred. The collision was reported at 5:24 a.m. Monday, east of the Malacca Strait, one of the world's most congested shipping routes.

The McCain is an Arleigh Burke-class destroyer - named after the father and grandfather of Sen.