Coast Guard suspends search for missing Sincerity Ace crew member

Local News

The Coast Guard suspended the search for the missing crew member of the Sincerity Ace. The vessel caught on fire two days ago. Four were found unresponsive floating in the ocean and the ship continues to drift, unmanned in the Pacific.

The 21 crew members aboard the Sincerity Ace, sincerely got into a lot of trouble two days ago when their ship caught on fire.The cause and extent of the blaze is still unknown.

What the Coast Guard does know is that 20 of the 21 crew members are accounted for. Sixteen were rescued and remain aboard good samaritan vessels. 

Five crew members jumped ship when the fire broke out, four have been spotted, unresponsive in the ocean.

The Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew and good samaritan vessels, the Genco Augustus and Venus Spirit, searched for the remaining crew member on Wednesday. The search was called off Wednesday night.

“In this type of situation (the Sincerity Ace) was really in such a remote region and (the samaritan vessels) were really the only ones that could get there and make a difference, and we are very grateful that they have taken their time, these good samaritans on these merchant vessels, to help us in this  situation,” West said. 

But even when those who jumped ship are spotted, removing them from the ocean is easier said than done since they do not seem to be conscious.

“The vessels that are responding to this are very big merchant vessels. and the issue is the way they’ve been rescuing them is they’ve been throwing them life rings attached to the line and then pulling them up onto the deck of the ship…there’s not really a good way to pull someone out of the water if they aren’t actually gripping onto the life rings themselves,” explained Petty Officer 3rd Class Matthew West of the Coast Guard.

The weather conditions did play a role in the search efforts. Waves were reported in the 17 to 20 foot range Tuesday. 

“That has laid down to four-foot seas recently. So the conditions have been improving,” West said.

Smaller surf and lighter winds, means fewer white caps, making visibility easier on the water and by air.

Efforts are being made to retrieve the vessel, which West said is still 2000 miles Northwest of Hawaii.

“The management company has contracted commercial tugs to go out to this vessel, from what i understand, it is still adrift and on fire. Those tugs will take a couple days to get there,” West explained.

West said the management company would also determine how the rescued crew would be transported and how the crew in the ocean would be retrieved.

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