Tugboat searches for crewmembers who abandoned burning ship

  • FILE - In this Dec. 31, 2018 file photo provided by the U.S. Coast Guard, a Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules aircrew flies over the 650-foot Sincerity Ace on fire 1,800 nautical miles northwest of Oahu in the Pacific Ocean. A tugboat has reached the ship abandoned by crew members after it caught fire while transporting automobiles from Japan to Hawaii last week. The Sincerity Ace had 21 crew members on board when the fire started last week. The crew members abandoned the burning vessel, which stretches 650 feet (198 meters). Ships in the area rescued 16. Four were listed as unresponsive in the water. A company spokesman said tugboat crew members who arrived Monday, Jan. 8, 2019, will first try to find the remaining five crew members. (U.S. Coast Guard via AP)

HONOLULU — A tugboat was searching Tuesday for crew members who weren’t rescued when the ship they were on caught fire while transporting automobiles from Japan to Hawaii.

The Sincerity Ace had 21 crew members aboard when the fire started last week. The crew members abandoned the burning vessel, which stretches 650 feet.

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Ships in the area rescued 16. Four were listed as unresponsive in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for one missing crew member.

Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. owns the Panamanian-flagged vessel.

Company spokesman Darrell Wilson said tugboat crew members who arrived Monday are trying to find the remaining crew members before towing the ship.

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He said vessels in the area were asked to look out for bodies.

Wilson doesn’t know if the ship is still burning.