Four crew members remain missing despite comprehensive search efforts as a response to the fire that broke out aboard Maersk Honam on Tuesday, March 6, Maersk Line said in its latest update.
“While search operation continues the hope of finding our missing colleagues is fading. We are in contact with their families and they know that tragically, the time passed decreases the likelihood of finding their loved ones alive. Our thoughts and prayers go to them,” Søren Toft, Chief Operating Officer of A.P. Moller – Maersk, said.
The missing seafarers include two Filipinos, one South African and one Indian.
“Furthermore, two crew members, one Thai and one Filipino, were in urgent need of medical care as their conditions worsened,” the update reads.
“They have been evacuated by an Indian navy vessel and handed over to the Indian coast guard of Trivandrum and are now receiving medical treatment. They are accompanied by one of the evacuated Indian colleagues with local language skills.”
The remaining 19 crew members onboard ALS Ceres are en route to Cochin, South West India, where medical professionals and crisis psychologists have been arranged for, the company added.
“We are doing our utmost to care for and closely follow the conditions of all evacuated colleagues. Also, we have an ongoing contact with their closest relatives,” Toft says.
Firefighting capabilities are approaching the ship which remains ablaze some 900 nautical miles southeast of Salalah, Oman, the company informed.
The Indian Coast Guard said on Twitter that its ship Shoor was deployed to the scene to put out the fire on board the container vessel, located at about 650 nautical miles from Kochi coast.
Based on the initial findings, there was no oil spill detected in the vicinity of the vessel.
A number of container vessels have diverted their route to assist in the search and rescue operation which continues. Currently, five vessels are involved.
Image Courtesy: Indian Coast Guard