The U.S. Coast Guard, Navy and two merchant vessels are continuing searching for two missing crew members from the burning car carrier Sincerity Ace approximately 1,800 nautical miles (2,000 miles) northwest of Oahu, Hawaii, the Coast Guard updated Tuesday.
According to the update, good samaritans aboard four merchant vessels have rescued 16 of the 21 crew after the Panamanian-flagged vessel caught fire Monday during a voyage from Japan to Honolulu.
Sadly, three of the five missing crew members were reportedly located, but were unable to be recovered as they were unresponsive and unable to grab onto life saving equipment, the Coast Guard said.
Search efforts are focused on the two remaining potential survivors in a search area of 5,832 square nautical miles (6,711 square statute miles).
The Sincerity Ace is currently adrift in seas reported as 15 to 18-feet and winds at 17 mph. Reduced white caps have improved visibility, the Coast Guard said.
“We are thankful for the assistance the crews of these merchant vessels have given us during this event significantly reducing possible response time,” said Lt. Duane Zitta, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “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.”