Tugboat arrives at ship 21 crewmembers abandoned during fire

HONOLULU— A tugboat has reached a car carrier ship abandoned by crew members after it caught fire while transporting automobiles from Japan to Hawaii last week.

The Sincerity Ace had 21 crewmembers on board when the fire started last week. The crewmembers abandoned the burning vessel, which stretches 650 feet (198 meters).

Ships in the area rescued 16. Four were listed as unresponsive in the water. The U.S. Coast Guard suspended its search for one missing crewmember.

Japanese shipping company Shoei Kisen Kaisha Ltd. owns the Panamanian-flagged vessel.

Company spokesman Darrell Wilson says tugboat crewmembers who arrived Monday will first try to find the remaining five crewmembers.

He says vessels in the area are asked to look out for bodies.

Wilson doesn’t know if the ship is still burning.

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