The United States Coast Guard is searching for two crew members of a Panamanian flagged vehicle carrier, which caught fire on Monday morning northwest Hawaii in the Pacific Ocean.
The Sincerity Ace was heading to Hawaii from Japan when the fire incident occurred. The Coast Guard has yet to say what caused the fire.
A nearby merchant ship rescued 16 members of the crew while three of the remaining five crew members of the car carrier were found but they are still in the water because they are unresponsive, the Coast Guard said.
The Sincerity Ace is adrift on the high seas and commercial tugs have been dispatched by the company to salvage the ship, the agency said.
“We are thankful for the assistance the crews of these merchant vessels have given us during this event, significantly reducing possible response time.
“Their quick actions provided for the rescue of 16 members of the crew who would otherwise still be in the water and are continuing to aid us,” The Head of the Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu, Lt. Duane Zitta, said.
The U.S. Navy is helping with search efforts.