The search teams deployed at the Stellar Daisy wreckage site have found bones believed to be from at least one of the missing crew members, according to Korea’s Ministry of Oceans and Fisheries.
The apparent human remains were found on February 20 (local time) on the seabed approximately 1 km away from the wreck of the ore carrier, which sank in the South Atlantic two years ago.
The Ministry added that an orange-colored objects, which appear to be working clothes, were also discovered on the seabed around a fragment of the hull. Further details related to possible retrieval of the remains were not revealed.
The search vessel left the search site on February 23 headed to Montevideo without recovering the remains, according to the International Stellar Daisy Network.
“It is yet to be known whether they will return to the site to recover the remains,” representatives of Korean families of Stellar Daisy added.
“We have accordingly offered our services to the South Korean Government to carry out any specific expanded search, and potential recovery, operations they may ask us to do. We await urgent confirmation for this highly important additional work,” Oliver Plunkett, CEO of survey and ocean exploration company Ocean Infinity, said.
The company deployed its search ship, Seabed Constructor, to look for the ill-fated Stellar Daisy on February 8 under a USD 4.3 million contract. Only days after starting the search efforts, Seabed Constructor located the wreck some 1,800 nautical miles west of Cape Town at a depth of 3,461 meter in the South Atlantic Ocean.
The search teams subsequently located and retrieved the ship’s voyage data recorder (VDR). A thorough inspection of the site was also carried out which included Ocean Infinity’s team conducting over 4500 minutes of detailed video investigation of the wreckage.
“Once we have completely processed all the data collected we will be able to deliver it to the authorities. In the meantime we very much hope to be involved further in helping those affected,” Plunkett added.
The 1993-built Stellar Daisy sank on March 31, 2017, while transporting 260,000 tons of iron ore from Brazil to China. Twenty-two of the 24 crew, that include eight South Korean and 14 Filipino seafarers, went missing from the converted ore carrier.
World Maritime News Staff; Image Courtesy: Korea’s Ministry of Maritime Affairs and Fisheries