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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 (AP) — A tugboat is searching 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 crewmembers on board when the fire started last week. The crewmembers abandoned the burning vessel, which stretches 650 feet (198 meters).

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 crewmember.

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

Company spokesman Darrell Wilson says tugboat crewmembers who arrived Monday are trying to find the remaining crewmembers before towing the ship.

He says vessels in the area are asked to look out for bodies.

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

Copyright © 2019 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, written or redistributed.



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