AIS Animation Shows Commercial Response to Sincerity Ace Incident in Pacific Ocean

Sincerity Ace Fire ais
Genscape / vesseltracker.com based on AIS data from exactEarth

We have obtained satellite AIS data showing the car carrier Sincerity Ace and the commercial response that followed after the vessel suffered a major fire during a voyage across the Pacific Ocean on New Year’s Eve.

The satellite data is provided by exactEarth with the animation by Genscape Vesseltracker. 

As we have reported, the fire broke out onboard the Panamanian-flagged MV Sincerity Ace on New Year’s Eve as it was approximately half way between Japan and Hawaii.

Due to the remoteness of the location, about 2,000 miles northwest of Hawaii, crews of commercial vessels participating in the Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) we first to respond to the scene and helped rescue 16 of the 21 crew members on board.

 As of Wednesday, the search was continuing for two missing crew members. Three crew members were located in the water but could not be recovered as they were unresponsive. 

Video Credit: Genscape / vesseltracker.com based on AIS data from exactEarth

The Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center (JRCC) in Honolulu received notification of the situation from JRCC Japan at 1:04 a.m. on December 31. Watchstanders immediately issued a SafetyNet broadcast requesting the assistance of vessels in the area.

Within about 12 hours, there were five vessels assisting in the search and rescue based of what can tell from the AIS. 

The initial communication from the U.S. Coast Guards said the master of the Sincerity Ace reported a significant vessel fire, with ongoing firefighting efforts and an intent to abandon ship. The report said the crew was able to launch one of the life rafts and four of the 21 mariners abandoned ship with lifejackets, but Coast Guard could not confirm if they reached the life raft upon entering the water.

“We are thankful for the assistance the crews of these merchant vessels have given us during this event significantly reducing possible response time,” said Lt. Duane Zitta, Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center Honolulu. “Their quick actions provided for the rescue of 16 members of the crew who would otherwise still be in the water and are continuing to aid us.”

The 650-foot (199-meter) Sincerity Ace is a Panamanian-flagged car carrier and was on a voyage from Yokohama, Japan to Honolulu, Hawaii. The ship was built in 2009 and has capacity of 6,400 vehicles. It is managed by Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd.

Among the vessels that responded, the Green Lake is a 655-foot U.S.-flagged car carrier traveling from Japan to the U.S. mainland. The SM Eagle is a Panamanian-flagged LNG tanker on a voyage from the U.S. mainland to Korea.

The Automated Mutual-Assistance Vessel Rescue System, or AMVER, is a worldwide voluntary reporting system sponsored by the United States Coast Guard. It is a computer-based global ship reporting system used worldwide by search and rescue authorities to arrange for assistance to persons in distress at sea.

Vessels and assets involved in the search to date:

– Two Air Station Barbers Point HC-130 Hercules aircrews
– A Navy 7th Fleet P-8 Poseidon aircrew
– Crew of the Motor Vessel Green Lake
– Crew of the SM Eagle
– Crew of the Motor Vessel New Century 1
– Crew of the Motor Vessel Venus Spirit
– Crew of the Motor Vessel Genco Augustus