Maritime Lawyer News: On Monday, another huge maritime accident hit the water. The SINCERITY ACE car carrier (a 650-foot car carrier with 21 crew members and 350 Nissan vehicles in transit), a vessel sailing under the Panama flag and owned by Shoei Kisen Kaisha, caught fire in its trip from Japan to Hawaii while reportedly off the coast of Japan. The SINCERITY ACE was built in 2009 and equipped to carry 6,400 vehicles. The maritime incident was tragic, listing four crew members as unresponsive when found and another crew member still missing, yet the U.S. Coast Guard has recently reportedly suspended its search. Reportedly the five crewmembers fell into the 17 foot waves while attempting to deploy a life boat.
The #RORO vessel Sincerity Ace at location 34.72061° / 139.9391° has issued an abandon ship order to the crew. Multiple Vessels enroute to assist and significant fire. #Japan #RORO #SincerityAce #AbandonShip #BREAKING #BreakingNews #Alert #URGENT #Mayday pic.twitter.com/lqdEdedUxG
— ✪ Area ✈ 82 ✪ (@Surveillance911) January 1, 2019
According to the Coast Guard, an approximately 7,000 mile search was undergone involving two Coast Guard HC-130 Hercules and a U.S. Navy Poseidon to search for additional survivors. The maritime deaths were precipitated by a fire, for which causes are unknown, which then abandon ship orders were then given. The SINCERITY ACE has not yet been recovered by Shoei Kisen Kaisha and it is unclear whether it will be recovered before it sinks.
Death on the High Seas Act allows families to recover damages from the maritime death of their loved one stemming from a maritime tragedy in international waters or foreign voyage. No matter where the vessel is navigating to, if the vessel is flying the flag of the United States or has U.S. base of operations, it is covered by American maritime law exactly like it would be while sailing in American waters. Some damages include:
- Pre-death pain and suffering
- Loss of financial support
- Loss of nurture, care, guidance, support and training for children
- Loss of inheritance
- Funeral expenses
- Value of lost services
If your loved one or a friend has suffered death due to an incident at sea and need the assistance of a general maritime lawyer who can navigate the complexity of the Death of the High Seas Act or Maritime Death Action, the maritime lawyers of O’Bryan Law can defend your rights and make sure you get the justice you need. At O’Bryan Baun Karamanian, we have dozens of years of combined experience dealing with the legalities of international waters.