The navy said that six ships continued the search for the missing seafarers today amid favorable weather conditions. However, the navy’s ship ROU 04 General Artigas has left the search party and is bound for the port of Montevideo.
The search and rescue operation was launched on March 31, after the South Korean VLCC carrying 24 crew members sank in the South Atlantic, some 3,700 kilometers off Uruguay. Two Filipino nationals were rescued after the incident, on April 2, but there have been no positive developments in the operation ever since.
Based on the initial findings it is believed that the converted ship had split in half following a hull crack causing shifting of cargo and subsequent sinking of the bulk carrier. Just a few days after the incident, Polaris Shipping, owner of the ship, confirmed that another of the firm’s vessels reported a crack on the outer hull of a tank- the 1993-built bulk carrier Stellar Unicorn, and sent it for repairs.
As a result of the incidents in question, the company said that it had launched inspection of all its operated vessels.