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Navy recovers bodies of missing USS McCain sailors

U.S. Navy and Marine Corps divers have recovered the remains of all 10 USS John S. McCain sailors who were killed last Monday, Navy officials said late Sunday.

Two Marylanders — Electronics Technician 2nd Class Kevin Sayer Bushell, 26, of Gaithersburg and Information Systems Technician 2nd Class Timothy Thomas Eckels Jr., 23, of Manchester — were among the 10.

The USS McCain collided with an oil tanker near Singapore, which tore a gash in the hull and flooded compartments of the ship.

The commander who led the fleet that included the McCain has been relieved of his duties. The Navy also ordered a pause of operations until there are safety reviews. It was the fourth collision in recent months.

Tom Bushell, the father of Kevin Bushell, said he was notified his son’s body had been found around 1:30 a.m. Saturday.

“It’s a terrible thing to happen,” he said. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to all the families. We pray for all the sailors that gave their life along with Kevin.”

Bushell said his son was a “gentle soul” who would bring home injured or baby animals to nurse back to health. He said he appreciated having the closure of having the sailors be found.

“It’s a shame to lose him at such a young age,” Bushell said. “It’s just a tragic loss. The world has lost a piece of something special.”

The family of Eckles could not be reached late Sunday.

Eckels graduated in 2012 from Manchester Valley High School in Carroll County, a school system spokeswoman said. He attended North Carroll High School his freshman year.

Last week, Eckels’ mother described him as a passionate and talented cook who spent time with her in the kitchen from the time he was 6 months old.

Baltimore Sun reporter Ian Duncan contributed to this report.

cwells@baltsun.com

twitter.com/cwellssun

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