One Indian Among 4 Crew Members Missing After Ship Catches Fire

The missing Indian has been identified as Sakim Hegde, who was one of the 27 crew members on board the liner vessel Maersk Honam.


Four crew members, including one Indian, have been reported missing after the liner vessel Maersk Honam caught fire on March 6. The vessel, sailing under Singapore flag, had 27 crew members on board. While 23 of them were evacuated, one member died later, Copenhagen-based firm Maersk Line said in a statement.

“The missing Indian has been identified as Sakim Hegde, second cook on board the ship and a native of Karnataka. The other 12 Indians, including the captain, are safe along with 11 foreign crew members. They are on board another merchant ship (ALS Ceres),” said Malini Shankar, Mumbai’s director general of shipping, reported the Times of India.

The vessel was going from Singapore towards Suez. After they were unsuccessful in their firefighting efforts, the crew sent out a distress signal to the nearby vessel ALS Ceres, which arrived at the scene around 18:30 Greenwich Mean Time, the statement said.

The current status is that 22 crew members are enroute to Sri Lanka on board ALS Ceres.

A statement released by the Indian Coast Guard (ICG) said that the ship was at a distance of 570 km (340 nautical miles) from Agatti in Lakshadweep Islands when an explosion and fire was reported on the vessel.

The Indian Coast guard rushed to offer assistance to the vessel engulfed in fire. The Indian Navy as well as the Coast Guard are putting in efforts to bring the fire under control, the Indian Express reported. “We are trying to bring the fire under control. The vessel is engulfed in flames hampering the operations. Our priority is to bring the blaze under control,” the publication reported an official as saying.

“We’ve received the news of Maersk Honam and the four missing crew members with the deepest regret and are now doing our outmost to continue the ongoing search and rescue operations. This by rerouting our own vessels, with assistance of vessels in the area – most notably ALS Ceres that thankfully acted promptly upon our distress call – and the local authorities,” Søren Toft, chief operating officer AP Moller – Maersk, said.

“We are doing our outmost in this tragic situation to care for all evacuated colleagues and continue the intense search and rescue operations ongoing for the four crew members currently reported missing,” Toft added.

An Indian national captained the vessel that is carrying is carrying 7,860 containers. The crew consisted of nine persons from Philippines, two from Thailand and one each from the United Kingdom, Romania, and South Africa.

Maersk Line earlier posted on the social media that one of the evacuated crew members, a Thai national, died of injuries sustained in the fire.

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