The U.S. Coast Guard and several commercial vessels are responding to a reported ‘significant’ vessel fire on the 650-foot vehicle carrier Sincerity Ace approximately 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Oahu on the high seas, Monday.
The master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, with ongoing firefighting efforts and an intent to abandon ship, the Coast Guard said.
The crew was able to launch one of the life rafts, and four of the 21 mariners abandoned ship with lifejackets, according to the Coast Guard. It is unconfirmed if they reached the life raft upon entering the water. The remaining 17 crew are reportedly continuing to fight the fire.
Weather is reported as 17-foot seas with winds at 26 mph.
Freelancing or stuck someplace and forced to jump?
Don’t know, sounds like a bad fire.
a significant vessel fire, with ongoing firefighting efforts and an intent to abandon ship,
Here is the USCG 14th District press release:
Coast Guard, good Samaritans responding to vessel fire in Pacific Ocean
HONOLULU — The Coast Guard and good Samaritans aboard several commercial vessels are responding to a reported vessel fire on the 650-foot Sincerity Ace 1,800 nautical miles (2071 statute miles) northwest of Oahu on the high seas, Monday.
“The distance involved here requires any and all available support, we thank the crews of the commercial vessels for volunteering to assist and have Coast Guard air support en route,” said Petty Officer 1st Class Les Elliott of JRCC Honolulu.
One commercial vessel, the Green Lake, is on scene and assessing possible assistance and rescue options, with three additional commercial vessels and a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew en route.
The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Honolulu received notification from JRCC Japan at 1:04 a.m. of the situation. Watchstanders in Honolulu immediately issued a SafetyNet broadcast requesting the assistance of vessels in the area and directed the launch of the Hercules from Air Station Barbers Point.
The master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, ongoing firefighting efforts, and an intent to abandon ship. The crew was able to launch one of the life rafts, and four of the 21 mariners abandoned ship with lifejackets. It is unconfirmed if they reached the life raft upon entering the water. The remaining 17 crew are reportedly continuing to fight the fire.
“We are thankful no injuries have been reported but are cognizant a lot is happening, and that may change at any time,” said Elliott.
Weather is reported as 17-foot seas with winds at 26 mph.
The Sincerity Ace is a Panamanian-flagged car carrier and was on a voyage from Japan to Hawaii. The Green Lake is a 655-foot U.S.-flagged car carrier traveling from Japan to the U.S. mainland. The second vessel is a Panamanian-flagged LNG tanker, the 968-foot SM Eagle on a voyage from the U.S. mainland to Korea.
Two additional vessels, a car carrier, and a tanker are en route. The Coast Guard is also launching a second Hercules from Air Station Barbers Point. Both Hercules airplanes are equipped with self locating datum marker buoys to track positions and additional search and rescue equipment such as life rafts and survival gear that can be dropped to survivors. In addition to the Coast Guard aircraft, the U.S. Navy will be providing a fixed wing aircraft to assist in search efforts. Other military surface and air assets are being considered.
The commercial vessels involved are part of the AMVER, or Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, a worldwide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.
Prayers to our brother/sister mariners onboard and all those involved in assisting/rescuing them.
The reported position is 26.58053, 170.1908
Prayers out to them. Hopefully they tame that fire while being able to dewater. If anything, hold it off until vessels arrive on location and keep exposure in the seas while utilizing LSA(s) to a minimum, if possible.
I would doubt very seriously in those conditions that lifeboats or even rafts are a viable option to abandon
will hold a place in my thoughts and prayers that the crew makes it through the night
I can only assume watchstanding engineers aft and forced to abandon out of the stern weather openings which appear to be quite a ways above the water so likely had to jump for it. If only in lifejackets they would have faced hell to get into a raft in the sea conditions mentioned
Launching a lifeboat in those weather conditions is doable, the boats have an on-load release system. Crew training is likely the weak link.
It would difficult for the Sincerity Ace to launch boats while fighting a fire. It might be possible for one of the other ships to launch a boat to recover or search for the two persons overboard. Depends on actual conditions on-scene.
It would very difficult and probably unsafe to attempt to recover lifeboats in those sea conditions.
with a ship dead in the water and beam to? those boats are a full 80’ above the waterline so would be very large orange pendulums as soon as they leave their davits
thank you for the photo…many questions are now answered
so we know now that the fire is not a machinery space one which is good because generators and pumps should be available. we also know now that the list is not severe so the vessel should remain upright in wind and sea conditions that appear to be not as bad as initially reported. I would certainly say that unless the efforts to contain the fire are unsuccessful and it spreads to both ends that the crew should be safe aboard and abandonment not be necessary.
if I was the master there, I would sit until a naval or coast guard vessel with a helicopter arrived on scene then abandon vertically. No way in hell would I even think about those boats with the extreme long drop to launch them!
one new questions is why the four crewmembers launched a raft and abandoned like they did? Watch engineers should have been safe back aft?
so just heard on the news that two of the crew who abandoned were recovered by one of the vessels standing by but are unresponsive to we can assume are dead and that three now are unaccounted for. Obviously, their chances to being recovered alive are slim to none if they did not go into the water with immersion suits.
This photo is very encouraging, but it only shows the windward side. Things may look very different on the lee side.
For the benefit of the non mariners reading this: The wind is presumably driving the fire away from the windward (up wind) side shown in the photo toward the leeward (downwind) side.
Photographs of sea conditions are deceiving and generally make it look a lot better than it is. The higher the elevation the photo is taken from, the smaller the seas appear. Unless one is very close to sea level, the seas will appear much smaller than they are. The sea also appears much calmer when looking to leeward (as in this photo) than when looking to windward.
That photo is really scary. The fire seems to have spread over several decks from beneath the accommodation spaces quite a way aft. The smoke is white which means it may be nearly under control by the deluge system but it looks like it was raging for some period of time. The fact that the entire vessel is submerged in a cloud of smoke does not bode well for the crew.
The photo is really scary, but it suggests that there are places for the crew to escape the fire and smoke on the windward side near the bow and the stern. It also gives the impression that the fire might be more or less contained or near burning itself out. The lack of a severe list is a positive sign.
Cougar Ace was at sea south of the Aleutians.