Maersk calls off search and rescue mission after three bodies found

Last week, the Maersk Honam reported a serious fire in one of its cargo holds. Source: Indian Coast Guard

Maersk Line has called off its active search and rescue mission following the fire on board the Maersk Honam.

The unidentified remains of three of the four crew members were found yesterday.

“Given the time that has passed and the severe fire damages of the vessel we must conclude by now that we have lost all four colleagues who have been missing since the fire onboard Maersk Honam which began on 6 March,” said Maersk chief operating officer, Søren Toft.

He added that the families of the four missing crewmembers had all been informed of the discovery and the halt in the search.

The 22 evacuated crewmembers have all received medical treatment, with the majority already released from hospital.

Efforts to stop the fire are ongoing and specialised firefighting vessels remain engaged onboard the ship. Salvage operations are currently being led by maritime salvage companies Smit Salvage and Ardent, while Maersk Line has placed two marine engineers onsite.

Palle Laursen, chief technical officer for Maersk Line, said that an investigation into the incident was being conducted by the India Marine Police, who would also be interviewing the surviving crew members, to determine the cause of the fire and the impact to the vessel and cargo.

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