A car-carrying vessel caught on fire on New Year’s Eve in the middle of the Pacific Ocean between Hawaii and Japan, leaving several sailors missing and three likely dead.

The captain of the ship signaled an intent to abandon ship after the car carrier,  Serenity Ace, caught fire and subsequently lost power while adrift 15- to 18-foot seas, according to the U.S. Coast Guard (USCG).

Good Samaritans on nearby merchant vessels rescued 16 members of the crew of a Panamanian car carrier heading from Japan to Hawaii that caught fire in the Pacific Ocean

The nearby merchant vessel was able to rescue 16 of the 21 crew members. Two crew members are reportedly missing, and the remaining three were unresponsive and unable to grab onto lifesaving equipment to be brought aboard.

The 650-foot-long ship is owned by the Japanese transport company, Mitsui OSK Lines, and is still on fire adrift roughly 1,800 nm northwest of Oahu.

The owners of the Sincerity Ace are coordinating with the merchant vessels for the transport of the rescued mariners. A salvage plan is being formalized and commercial tugs have been dispatched by the company.

Bloomberg / ABC Flash Point Shipping News 2019.


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