The bodies of three of the four missing crew from the explosion on ULCC Maersk Honam had been found, Maersk Line announced on Monday March 12th. The search for the last unaccounted crew member had been called off.
“It is with deep sadness that we announce that the human remains of three of the four missing crew members after the fire aboard Maersk Honam have been found on board the vessel. At this point in time our three colleagues are unidentified”, Maersk Line said, adding that, “given the time passed and the severe fire damages of the vessel, we must conclude that we have lost all four colleagues who have been missing since the fire broke out on March 6th”.
Chief Operating Officer Søren Toft said that “our most heartfelt condolences go out to families of our deceased colleagues. We share their sorrow and are doing our utmost to support them in this devastating time”.
A thorough search on board the Maersk Honam is continuing, but the active search and rescue mission at sea will be brought to a halt. Two of the missing Filipino sailors were identified as John Rey Begaso and Janrey Genvatin, both 21 years old engine cadets from JBLFMU-Molo. While thick plumes of toxic fumes were still seen, signs of cooling down of metal fire were seen when white smoke billowed from the mega container ship.
The evacuated crew members are progressing well. All 22 have received medical treatment and the majority have been released from hospital. Those who initially were placed into intensive care have been moved to a general ward and are recovering. A crisis psychologist has been made available to all crew, Maersk said.
Palle Laursen, Chief Technical Officer for Maersk Line, said that “our colleagues that were evacuated to local hospitals in varying conditions of health are improving and we are now preparing to bring them back to their families as their condition allows”.
The India Marine Police is conducting a routine investigation of the incident, and they will be interviewing all crew members.
Meanwhile the fire-fighting on board Maersk Honam appears to be progressing. YouTube footage from the weekend appeared to show much smoke but no flames.
Salvage operations are being led by Smit Salvage and Ardent. Maersk Line has two Marine Engineers on site working with the salvors.
A full investigation will be conducted to determine the cause of the fire and the impact to the vessel and cargo.
All next of kin have been informed, the company said. “Our most heartfelt condolences go out to families of our deceased colleagues. We share their sorrow and will do our utmost to support them at this devastating time,” chief operating officer Søren Toft said.
Search parties on the vessel are continuing to work, as are fire-fighting efforts led by Smit Salvage and Ardent
Maersk and its 2M partner MSC declared general average (GA) late last week. Law firm Richards Hogg Lindley has been appointed to collect the necessary GA security from shippers before cargo can be released. This includes a copy of the cargo invoice, an average bond signed by the cargo owner and either an average guarantee for insured cargo signed by its insurers, or a cash deposit for uninsured cargo.
Maersk Honam was carrying a total of 7,860 containers, corresponding to 12,416 teu . 2017-built, Singapore-flagged, 153,153 gt 15,262 teu Maersk Honam is owned by Moller Singapore AP Pte Ltd of Singapore and managed by Maersk Line AS of Copenhagen, Denmark. It is entered with Standard Club (Europe division) on behalf of AP Moller Singapore Pte Ltd.
Maersk Line announcement.