• Car Carrier Sincerity Ace Adrift In North Pacific



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    Search Suspended for Missing Sincerity Ace Crew; Car Carrier Abandoned and Adrift in Pacific Ocean

    The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended the active search for one remaining unaccounted for crewmember of the Sincerity Ace.

    Good Samaritans from four merchant vessels were able to rescue 16 of the 21 Sincerity Ace crew who abandoned the burning car carrier following a fire on New Year’s Eve roughly 2,000 miles from northwest of Hawaii.

    The Coast Guard says four missing mariners were located but remain in the water as they were unresponsive and unable to react to life-saving equipment.

    Coast Guard watchstanders have issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast Notice to Mariners requesting vessels transiting the area to keep a sharp lookout for the remaining unaccounted for the crewmember.

    Searches were conducted throughout the day Wednesday by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew and the crews of the motor vessels Venus Spirit and Genco Augustus.




    “Following the conclusion of morning and afternoon searches by our aircraft and commercial vessels we suspended the active search. This is always a difficult decision and takes many factors into account,” said Chief Petty Officer Dennis Vetrano, with Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of the crewmembers affected by this tragedy.”

    The Sincerity Ace’s managing company, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., is coordinating with the merchant vessels for the transport of the surviving crew from the vessels’ next ports of call. Commercial tugs were dispatched to the Sincerity Ace earlier in the week.

    The company will make attempts to recover the four unresponsive crewmembers still in the water when other contracted ships arrive on the scene in several days, the Coast Guard said.

    The vessel remains abandoned and adrift. At last report, it was listing to starboard and still on fire.


    The cause of the fire and the disposition of the cargo remain unknown, the Coast Guard said.

    JRCC Honolulu received the initial notification of the situation from JRCC Japan at 1:04 a.m. Monday, December 31, 2018. The master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, ongoing firefighting efforts, and an intent to abandon ship.

    Watchstanders in Honolulu issued a SafetyNet broadcast requesting the assistance of vessels in the area and directed the launch of the Hercules aircrews from Air Station Barbers Point.

    The Coast Guard, Navy, and good Samaritans aboard five merchant vessels conducted a total of 13 searches covering 5,544 nautical square miles (7,342 statute miles) over a span of three days searching for the missing crew members.



    The vehicles carrier Sincerity Ace caught fire on December 31, 2018. This animation (created with AIS data provided by exactEarth) shows the ship’s track at the time of the fire, and the vessels, including the Green Lake, SM Eagle, New Century 1, Venus Spirit and Genco Augustus, who diverted from their commercial voyages to assist, rescuing 16 crew members from the water.


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    Coast Guard, good Samaritans responding to vessel fire in Pacific Ocean
    HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and good Samaritans aboard several commercial vessels are responding to a reported vessel fire on the 650-foot Sincerity Ace 1,800 nautical miles (2071 statute miles) northwest of Oahu on the high seas, Monday.

    "The distance involved here requires any and all available support, we thank the crews of the commercial vessels for volunteering to assist and have Coast Guard air support en route," said Petty Officer 1st Class Les Elliott of JRCC Honolulu.

    One commercial vessel, the Green Lake, is on scene and assessing possible assistance and rescue options, with three additional commercial vessels and a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew en route.

    The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Honolulu received notification from JRCC Japan at 1:04 a.m. of the situation. Watchstanders in Honolulu immediately issued a SafetyNet broadcast requesting the assistance of vessels in the area and directed the launch of the Hercules from Air Station Barbers Point.

    The master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, ongoing firefighting efforts, and an intent to abandon ship. The crew was able to launch one of the life rafts, and four of the 21 mariners abandoned ship with lifejackets. It is unconfirmed if they reached the life raft upon entering the water. The remaining 17 crew are reportedly continuing to fight the fire.

    "We are thankful no injuries have been reported but are cognizant a lot is happening, and that may change at any time," said Elliott.

    Weather is reported as 17-foot seas with winds at 26 mph.

    The Sincerity Ace is a Panamanian-flagged car carrier and was on a voyage from Japan to Hawaii. The Green Lake is a 655-foot U.S.-flagged car carrier traveling from Japan to the U.S. mainland. The second vessel is a Panamanian-flagged LNG tanker, the 968-foot SM Eagle on a voyage from the U.S. mainland to Korea.

    Two additional vessels, a car carrier, and a tanker are en route. The Coast Guard is also launching a second Hercules from Air Station Barbers Point. Both Hercules airplanes are equipped with self locating datum marker buoys to track positions and additional search and rescue equipment such as life rafts and survival gear that can be dropped to survivors. In addition to the Coast Guard aircraft, the U.S. Navy will be providing a fixed wing aircraft to assist in search efforts. Other military surface and air assets are being considered.

    The commercial vessels involved are part of the AMVER, or Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, a worldwide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

    -USCG-


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    Update: Coast Guard suspends search for remaining Sincerity Ace crewmember
    HONOLULU — The Coast Guard has suspended the active search for the remaining unaccounted for crewmember of the Sincerity Ace, Wednesday.

    “Following the conclusion of morning and afternoon searches by our aircraft and commercial vessels we suspended the active search. This is always a difficult decision and takes many factors into account,” said Chief Petty Officer Dennis Vetrano, with Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. "We extend our condolences to the families and loved ones of the crewmembers affected by this tragedy.”

    Good Samaritans from four merchant vessels were able to rescue 16 of the 21 Sincerity Ace crew who abandoned ship following a fire, Monday. Four missing mariners were located but remain in the water as they were unresponsive and unable to react to life-saving equipment. 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 the crewmember. Searches were conducted throughout the day Wednesday by a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew and the crews of the motor vessels Venus Spirit and Genco Augustus.

    The Sincerity Ace’s managing company, Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd., 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 crewmembers 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, it was listing to starboard and still on fire. The cause of the fire and the disposition of the cargo remain unknown.

    The Coast Guard, Navy, and good Samaritans aboard five merchant vessels conducted a total of 13 searches covering 5,544 nautical square miles (7,342 statute miles) over a span of three days.

    Involved in the searches were:
    - Two Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrews
    - A Navy 7th Fleet P-8 Poseidon aircrew
    - Crew of the Motor Vessel Green Lake
    - Crew of the SM Eagle
    - Crew of the Motor Vessel New Century 1
    - Crew of the Motor Vessel Venus Spirit
    - Crew of the Motor Vessel Genco Augustus

    “We are very grateful for the assistance the crews of these vessels have given during the search and rescue efforts,” said Vetrano. “These crewmembers went out of their way to aid their fellow mariners, and because of the remoteness of the incident the outcome may have been very different had they not responded.”

    JRCC Honolulu received the initial notification from JRCC Japan at 1:04 a.m., Monday, of the situation. Watchstanders in Honolulu immediately issued a SafetyNet broadcast requesting the assistance of vessels in the area and directed the launch of the Hercules aircrews from Air Station Barbers Point. The master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, ongoing firefighting efforts, and an intent to abandon ship.

    Coast Guard 14th District watchstanders coordinated the rescue efforts with good Samaritans on the responding merchant vessels and the Coast Guard and Navy aircrews throughout the operation.

    The commercial vessels involved are part of the AMVER, or Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, a worldwide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

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