South Korean families of the crew on board a ship that sank off the coast off the coast of Uruguay are calling for the search to continue.
In March 2017, South Korean bulker, Stellar Daisy, sank with eight South Korean and sixteen Filipino seafarers on board.
Two Filipino sailors were rescued in the South Atlantic on the 1st April that year, but the remaining 22 crew members are still missing and now presumed dead.
A campaign was launched by their family members 9 months ago appealing to the government to resume the rescue efforts. They are also calling for an investigation in to why the vessel sank. They insist the vessel’s blackbox needs to be found in order for those responsible for the incident to be brought to justice.
The campaign has so far been unsuccessful, so they are now asking for international support to encourage the Korean authorities to designate funds for the search.
The families believe there is still hope that survivors may be found as two of the vessel’s life rafts remain unaccounted for.
The US Government was involved in initial searches. It was during these searches that a US Navy aeroplane spotted a life raft on the 8th April. The families are now asking for the US videos and photos to be released in order to determine whether any of the crew managed to escape alive.
The bulk split in two after a hull crack that caused a shift in cargo on board. The vessel sank quickly after the damage occurred. Following this event, Polaris Shipping, owners of the vessel, reported a crack on the outer hull of a tank on one of their other vessels. This prompted a full investigation of all Polaris Shipping vessels.
The company’s premises were raided as part of South Korean Coast Guard’s investigation into the incident, the aftermath of which has put into the spotlight the company’s operation of the vessel and its conversion, along with the alleged “slow reaction” to distress calls sent from the ship at the time of the sinking.
More will follow as the story continues…