Michigan sailor confirmed dead in U.S. warship crash - WNEM TV 5

Michigan sailor confirmed dead in U.S. warship crash

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A sailor with ties to Michigan has been confirmed dead after a U.S. warship collided with an oil tanker in Southeast Asia.

The 7th Fleet said it had identified the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22.

Smith’s mother, April Brandon, said he grew up in Novi, Michigan but moved to Norfolk, Virginia as a teen with his father.

Brandon spoke out earlier this week after she was visited by two officers Monday at her home in Oakland County. She wrote on Facebook that she was praying for her son and the other nine missing sailors.

“Please keep hope, continue forward with your day, hug your family, love one another, pray or vibe positively, whatever it is you do. To the families of the other missing sailors, you're in my thoughts, my heart is at sea with yours,” Brandon wrote. 

The U.S. Navy on Thursday called off the search at sea for sailors missing after a collision between a destroyer and an oil tanker. The fleet said divers will continue to search flooded compartments inside the USS John S. McCain, where some remains have been found.

The Navy has not provided specifics.

Gov. Rick Snyder released the following statement:

The USS John S. McCain collision is a terrible tragedy and I join the rest of Michigan and the nation in mourning the loss of decorated sailor Kenneth Aaron Smith. Sue and I send our most heartfelt condolences to Kenneth’s family, friends, and the entire Navy community during this difficult time. I also call on everyone to come together as a state and a nation to pray for the families of those nine sailors who have yet to be found.

Copyright 2017 WNEM (Meredith Corporation) / The Associated Press. All rights reserved. 

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