A large car carrier ship transporting 3500 Nissan models is floating unmanned in the Pacific Ocean after a fire broke out on New Year’s Eve and crew members abandoned ship.
The Associated Press reports that 21 members of the crew abandoned the 650 foot (198 meter) Sincerity Ace. Of those, 16 have been rescued alive, four were spotted in the ocean but were unresponsive, and one member is missing.
The ship, built in 2009, was traveling from a series of Nissan auto terminals in Yokohama and Kanda in Japan, heading for Honolulu as well as Mexico, Puerto Rico, Florida, Virginia, and Maryland. Sincerity Ace has a capacity of 5200 vehicles and currently has 3804 units of passenger cars and construction equipment on board. The make and models of the 304 non-Nissan vehicles remain uncertain.
These Nissans won’t be delivered anytime soon.
“We have no information on the condition of the vehicles at this time. Our thoughts are with the crew members as well as the safety of the rescue teams,” Nissan said in a statement to Automotive News.
The ship is owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha who assert that a salvage plan is being formalized and that commercial tugs have been dispatched to the Sincerity Ace. Salvage vessels will also be used to try and retrieve the four unresponsive crew members.
The cause of the fire is unclear and as of January 3, the ship was still ablaze and running adrift.