Posted on January 10, 2019 by Ilias Kiritsis
Towing operations have begun for Sincerity Ace, the Panama-flagged car carrier that caught on fire on New Years’ Eve.
The heavily damaged car carrier has been on fire for the last 10 days, and the blaze has shown little sign of stopping.
Salvage tug, Koyo Maru, approached the vessel at approximately 02:00 am UTC on January the 9th and proceeded to begin towing operations in an effort to move the carrier back to Japan.
Sincerity ACE had originally departed Yokohama, Japan with a cargo of over 3500 Nissan cars, and was bound for Honolulu, Hawaii when a fire broke out on the vessel.
Following initial firefighting efforts on behalf of the crew, the Master gave the order to abandon ship.
Unfortunately, out of the crew of 21, only 16 were successfully rescued, mostly due to the actions of good Samaritan vessels in the region.
Four of the five missing sailors were located but were unfortunately unresponsive. Regrettably, the search for the final missing seafarer was called off.
Panama Maritime Authority (AMP), through the General Directorate of Merchant’s Marine Department of Maritime Accident Investigation, has assigned an investigator to look into the accident and determine the cause of the fire.
The investigator assigned by the AMP has been in contact with the vessel operators in order to better coordinate assistance to the vessel.
Furthermore, they ‘ll proceed to carry out crew interviews so as to obtain more information as to the probable cause of the fire that led to the unfortunate death of the 5 seafarers.
According to the United States Coast Guard, the vessel’s remaining crew has been transported to Honolulu.
Sincerity ACE is expected to arrive in Japan by January 25th.
Image Courtesy of Marine Traffic