Join our crew and become one of the 106,850 members that receive our newsletter.

U.S. Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Mariners After Sailing Cargo Ship Sinks

A USCGC Resolute (WMEC 620) small boat crew recovers two life rafts from the 90-foot schooner De Gallant approximately 20 miles north of Great Inagua, May 21, 2024. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

U.S. Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Mariners After Sailing Cargo Ship Sinks

Mike Schuler
Total Views: 9871
May 23, 2024

The U.S. Coast Guard has suspended its search for two missing crew members from the sailing cargo vessel De Gallant, approximately 20 miles north of Great Inagua, Bahamas.

The rescue operation, involving air and sea assets, spanned 44 hours from the initial distress signal and covered an area exceeding 3,700 square miles.

The Coast Guard Seventh District command center launched a search operation early Tuesday morning after receiving distress signals from personal locator beacons.

A helicopter crew located two life rafts carrying six French nationals.

The six survivors were hoisted to safety and transported to Coast Guard Air Station Miami in Opa Locka, Florida, reportedly in good health. However, two female crew members remained unaccounted for, prompting a continued search by the Coast Guard and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.

The Vanuatu-flagged De Gallant, a 90-foot schooner built in the Netherlands in 1916, is owned and operated by the France-based Blue Schooner Company. The company provides eco-friendly freight transport services between Europe and the Caribbean Sea. It confirmed the vessel had departed Santa-Marta, Colombia on May 11 with a cargo of coffee, cocoa, and cane sugar destined for Europe.

Preliminary information from the Blue Schooner Company suggests the vessel was hit by a “sudden and violent” storm, causing it to capsize and sink. Survivors reported donning survival suits and boarding life rafts as the vessel began to sink.

“This incident, which resulted in the loss of a well-proven vessel manned by experienced professional sailors, is a reminder of the dangers of navigation and the seafaring profession,” the company said in a statement. “Our thoughts and attention go out to their families and loved ones.”

Cmdr. Lindsey Seniuk, Coast Guard Seventh District command center search and rescue mission coordinator, echoed this sentiment. “It is with heavy hearts we offer our sincere condolences to the families and crew that lost these two mariners,” she said. “Suspending this case is one of the hardest decisions our personnel make. We are grateful we were able to bring home the six survivors and thankful for the assistance of our partners in the Royal Bahamas Defence Force.”

Unlock Exclusive Insights Today!

Join the gCaptain Club for curated content, insider opinions, and vibrant community discussions.

Sign Up
Back to Main
polygon icon polygon icon

Why Join the gCaptain Club?

Access exclusive insights, engage in vibrant discussions, and gain perspectives from our CEO.

Sign Up


Maritime and offshore news trusted by our 106,850 members delivered daily straight to your inbox.

gCaptain’s full coverage of the maritime shipping industry, including containerships, tankers, dry bulk, LNG, breakbulk and more.