New Jersey

Family of 28-Year-Old Sailor From New York Missing After Ship Collision Won't Give Up Hope Despite Navy Calling off Search

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, of Poughkeepsie, is one of nine sailors who remain missing; one has been confirmed dead

What to Know

  • Ten sailors, three from the tri-state area, went missing following an Aug. 21 collision between the USS John S. McCain and an oil tanker
  • After more than 80 hours of multinational search efforts across 2,100 square miles of water, the U.S. Navy has suspended its search efforts
  • Only one set of remains -- those belonging to a 22-year-old from New Jersey -- have been recovered

The family of a 28-year-old sailor from Poughkeepsie missing since a ship collision near Singapore three days ago is refusing to give up hope he may be found alive, despite the U.S. Navy's announcement Thursday it had called off search and rescue efforts after scouring 2,100 square miles of water.

Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Corey George Ingram, 28, of Poughkeepsie was aboard USS John McCain when it collided with an oil tanker Monday. Ingram and nine other sailors vanished in the Asian waters.

Only one set of remains -- those belonging to a 22-year-old the Navy says is from New Jersey -- have been recovered.

Ingram's family says he's been in the Navy nearly a decade.

"He's a strong guy. He's very tough. I think this situation will put him through the test and he'll make it through," Ingram's younger brother Darren told News 4. "We're staying positive here and we are not going to let this situation get the best of us."

Ingram's family asked that a prayer be side in his name as they rely on faith and community to get them -- and the young sailor -- through this time.  

The Navy recovered the remains of Electronics Technician 3rd Class Kenneth Aaron Smith, 22, from New Jersey, over the course of its 80 hour multinational search operation. He has been the lone sailor confirmed dead. The nine missing were officially identified Thursday; they include Ingram, Charles Nathan Findley, 31, from Amazonia, Missouri; Abraham Lopez, 39, from El Paso, Texas; Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, from Gaithersburg, Maryland; Jacob Daniel Drake, 21, from Cable, Ohio; Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, from Manchester, Maryland; Dustin Louis Doyon, 26, from Suffield, Connecticut; John Henry Hoagland III, 20, from Killeen, Texas and Stephen Palmer, 23, from Decatur, Illinois.

At least four other sailors were hurt in the accident, which occurred as McCain was heading to Singapore for a routine port call. They are expected to be OK. Despite calling off the ocean search, the Navy's 7th Fleet said divers will continue to search flooded compartments inside USS McCain. 

The commander of the 7th Fleet was relieved of duty on Wednesday following the McCain collision and other accidents this year that raised questions about its operations in the Pacific. Seven sailors died in June when the destroyer USS Fitzgerald collided with a container ship off Japan. Two lesser-known incidents occurred earlier in the year.

The firing of Vice Adm. Joseph Aucoin, a three-star admiral, was a rare dismissal of a high-ranking officer for operational reasons.

Aucoin was due to retire in a few weeks, and the officer named to succeed him, Vice Adm. Phillip Sawyer, assumed command immediately.

Sawyer, speaking Thursday at a maritime security meeting in Bali, Indonesia, thanked regional navies for helping in the search for the missing McCain sailors.

"Often it is a brutal reminder that what we do is dangerous work in an unforgiving environment, requiring honed skills and constant vigilance," he said. "And even with those, bad things can happen."

The Navy has ordered an operational pause for its fleets worldwide to make sure all steps are being taken to ensure safe and effective operations. The Pacific Fleet will also carry out a ship-by-ship review of its vessels, looking at navigation, mechanical systems, bridge resource management and training.

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