Posted on March 15, 2018 by Ashleigh Cowie

The US Coast Guard have suspended a search for a missing crew member who fell overboard from the bulker, Lara Venture near Cape Charles, Virginia.

The 33 year old Chinese national was seen falling off the side of the ship at 0200 LT on Tuesday morning. The ship was at anchor, and the man was not wearing a life jacket as he fastened a ladder on the starboard quarter.

A search and rescue operation was launched immediately, with a USCG helicopter aircrew and the crew of the cutter, Sea Horse aiding the operation. Navy Helicopter Sea Combat Squadron 2 were at the scene from Norfolk and the Virginia Pilot Association also assisted. The search lasted approximately 12 hours, covering 110 square miles. However the man remained unfound and the Coast Guard called off the search effort later that afternoon.

US Coast Guard Capt. Rick Wester, commander, Coast Guard Sector Hampton Roads said:

“Suspending a search is one of the most difficult choices we have to make in the Coast Guard, and several factors – water temperature, weather conditions, and length of time the person has been missing – inform the decision,”

“We extend our thoughts and prayers to the sailor’s family and fellow crewmen.”

Air and water temperatures in the Chesapeake Bay were below 50 degrees and winds were up to 20 knots, lowering the odds of survival without a life jacket.

The Lara Venture is a Hong Kong-flagged bulker built in 2011. According to her Equasis record, a port state control inspection in France last year found that her immersion suits and her rescue boat were not in order. There are no reports that these past inspection deficiencies were connected with Tuesday’s accident.

As of Tuesday afternoon she was still at anchor in Chesapeake Bay.

ARX Maritime have developed an alarm that can be warn by each crew member, and will send out an alert upon contact with water. This is the only alarm of its kind that will send a direct alert to the bridge and exact GPS coordinates in order for the crew member to be rescued immediately, without the usual waiting time for assistance to arrive. For more information on the ARX MoB and other products visit our products page at or contact us at

Posted in Safety

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