Search efforts for the remaining missing crew member of the car carrier Sincerity Ace were suspended on January 2, according to the US Coast Guard.
“Following the conclusion of morning and afternoon searches by our aircraft and commercial vessels we suspended the active search,” said Chief Petty Officer Dennis Vetrano, with Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu.
Good Samaritans from four merchant vessels were able to rescue 16 of the 21 Sincerity Ace crew who abandoned ship following a fire, which occurred on Monday. Four missing mariners were located but remain in the water as they were unresponsive and unable to react to life-saving equipment, USCG explained.
Coast Guard watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners requesting vessels transiting the area to keep a sharp lookout for the remaining unaccounted for crew member.
Shoei Kisen Kaisha, Sincerity Ace’s managing company, is coordinating with the merchant vessels for the transport of the surviving crew from the vessels’ next ports of call. The company will make attempts to recover the four unresponsive crew members still in the water when other contracted ships arrive on the scene in several days.
Commercial tugs were dispatched to the Sincerity Ace earlier in the week. The vessel remains uncrewed and adrift.
At last report, the vessel was listing to starboard. Shoei Kisen Kaisha confirmed that the ship is still on fire in the Pacific Ocean, around 1,800 nautical miles west of Honolulu. The cause of the fire and the disposition of the cargo remain unknown.