Two days after fire broke out on the 15,262 teu Maersk Honam the Danish line admitted hopes of finding the four missing crew members alive were fading.
“While search operation continues the hope of finding our missing colleagues is fading. We are in contact with their families and they know that tragically, the time passed decreases the likelihood of finding their loved ones alive. Our thoughts and prayers go to them,” said Søren Toft, coo of AP Moller – Maersk.
The missing seafarers are two Filipinos, one South African, one Indian national.
Twenty-three crew were evacuated from the vessel on Tuesday after a distress signal was sent when they were unable to bring the fire under control. The were picked up by a nearby vessel ALS Ceres. One of the rescued crew, a Thai national, died of his injuries the following day.
Maersk said that two other seafarers, a Thai and Filipino, in urgent need of medical care haves since been evacuated by the Indian Navy and handed over to the Indian Coast Guard of Trivandrum.
The 19 remaining crew onboard the ALS Ceres are now bound for Cochin where Maersk said medical professionals and crisis psychologists have been arranged for.
“We are doing our outmost to care for and closely follow the conditions of all evacuated colleagues. Also, we have an ongoing contact with their closest relatives,” Toft said.
The battle to bring the fire on the 2017-built containership continues and photos and videos show the entire area from the accommodation block forward engulfed in flames and smoke.