Three feared dead and two missing after vehicle carrier catches fire while transiting Pacific

Image: Watkins
Image: Watkins – Sincerity Ace in 2016

Three crewmembers of a Panamanian-flagged vehicle carrier are feared to have died while another two have gone missing after a fire broke out aboard their vessel while transiting the Pacific in the early morning of Monday, December 31.

The 199.97-metre Sincerity Ace (pictured) was approximately 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Hawaii when its crew sent out a distress call at around 01:04 local time.

US Coast Guard air assets and the US-flagged car carrier Green Lake were the first to arrive on scene to render assistance.

One life raft was launched and four of the vessel’s 21-strong crew went into the water with lifejackets after the master reported intent to abandon ship. The remaining 17 crewmembers reportedly stayed on board to put out the blaze.

Four other commercial vessels and a US Navy maritime patrol aircraft later arrived on the scene.

Search and rescue (SAR) efforts are ongoing as of 13:26 local time on January 1 for the two crewmembers who have gone missing. Three people who initially went missing have been found unresponsive in the water and are feared dead.

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