A car-carrying vessel caught on fire on New Year’s Eve in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Japan, leaving several sailors missing and three likely dead.
The captain of the ship signaled an intent to abandon ship after the car carrier, Serenity Ace, caught fire and subsequently lost power while adrift 15- to 18-foot seas, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).
A nearby merchant vessel was able to rescue 16 of the 21 crew members. Two crew members are reportedly missing, and the remaining three were “unresponsive and unable to grab onto lifesaving equipment to be brought aboard.” (RELATED: Marine Corps Identifies 20-Year-Old Marine In Fatal Shooting In DC Barracks)
“We are thankful for the assistance the crews of these merchant vessels have given us during this event, significantly reducing possible response time,” a spokesman for the USCG Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu said, according to The Wall Street Journal.
“Their quick actions provided for the rescue of 16 members of the crew, who would otherwise still be in the water, and are continuing to aid us.”
Hawaii-bound Panamanian ship catches fire in the Pacific Ocean; several crew members rescued but two still missing https://t.co/xK4jSfbmMC
— Bloomberg (@business) January 2, 2019
The ship is owned by the Japanese transport company, Mitsui OSK Lines, and is still on fire adrift roughly 1,800 nm northwest of Oahu.
“The owners of the Sincerity Ace are coordinating with the merchant vessels for the transport of the rescued mariners,” the USCG said. “A salvage plan is being formalized and commercial tugs have been dispatched by the company.”
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