The Panama Maritime Authority (AMP) through the General Directorate of Merchant Marine’s Department of Maritime Accident Investigation has assigned an investigator to carry out asafety investigation into the fire suffered by the Panama-flagged car carrier Sincerity Ace.
Japanese owned Sincerity Ace is a 2009-built car carrier with a capacity to transport 6,400 vehicles and was sailling from Yokohama, Japan, to Honolulu, Hawaii when a fire broke out on the high seas, some 1,800 nautical miles from Oahu, Hawaii.
16 crew members were rescued alive; four of the remaining five missing crew members have been located but were unresponsive to rescuers.
The AMP contacted the operators to request more information about this event, and immediately assigned an investigator to identify the causes of the incident and issue appropriate recommendations to prevent similar accidents in the future.
Initially responding rescue call was the commercial vessel Green Lake that arrived in the area to assess the situation and provide some assistance. The US Coast Guard (USCG) deployed the Hercules HC130 aircraft to support these tasks. The fire, according to information from USCG was reported by the ship’s captain, and the crew attempted to bring the fire under control before abandoning ship.
At present, the researcher appointed by the AMP is in contact with the operators of the ship to coordinate assistance to the vessel and to gather all possible information to find the probable causes of the fire on board. Likewise, it will proceed to carry out the necessary interviews to the crew that have been rescuein order to obtain more information.
The USCG said that the crew of the vessel were transported to Honolulu.