Search suspended in sea for USS John S. McCain missing sailors, - KXXV Central Texas News Now

Search suspended in sea for USS John S. McCain missing sailors, one with Central Texas ties

(Source: Kimbal Family/KTRK) (Source: Kimbal Family/KTRK)

The U.S. Seventh Fleet said they are suspending the search and rescue efforts for missing USS John S. McCain sailors in the approximately 2,100-square mile area east of the Straits of Malacca on Thursday. 

Search and recovery efforts will continue inside the flooded compartments in the ship. 

Of the nine sailors who are still missing after a Navy ship collided with a tanker off the coast of Singapore Monday, one has ties to Central Texas. 

The mother of 20-year-old John "CJ" Hoagland, from Killeen, said he is among the missing.

Cynthia Kimball told News Channel 25 that her son Hoagland was a graduate of Killeen's Shoemaker High School, where he served as an executive officer in the JROTC. 

News Channel 25 has reached out to Killeen ISD for comment on this situation but hasn't heard back.

Kimball, who lives in Georgia, said that Hoagland has been serving on the USS John McCain for nearly a year. 

"He thinks the Navy is the greatest. He doesn't regret his decision," said Kimball. 

Navy leaders say they're investigating the cause of the collision and other recent mishaps.

"I hope they figure out what the problem is," Kimball said. "I don't agree with the concept that our sailors aren't trained well enough, because my son is one of the ones who works on the radars, and there's no doubt in my mind that he knows what he's doing."

Kimball is clinging to hope that her son is alive. So far the Navy has identified one of the bodies rescuers have recovered, but it's not Hoagland.

"I would tell him that I love him," Kimball said. "I want to know he's OK." 

+Remains of sailors found on USS McCain
+Ten sailors missing, five injured after USS John S. McCain collides with merchant ship near Strait of Malacca

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