Coast Guard: Missing crewman at Mobile may have fallen while recovering pilot ladder

The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:

(MOBILE, Ala.) — The Coast Guard suspended the search for a 37-year-old Filipino crewman from a container ship off the coast of Mobile, Tuesday.

Coast Guard and local agency crews searched a total of more than 3,408 square miles with 18 different resources for 37 hours in an effort to locate the missing crewmember of the vessel MSC Tokyo.

Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island watchstanders received a call from the Mobile Pilots reporting a missing crewmember aboard the Singapore-flagged MSC Tokyo at approximately 2:30 a.m., Monday. Watchstanders were told the crewmember was reportedly seen wearing blue coveralls with white pinstripes and a life jacket.

It was reported the missing crewmember was responsible for recovering the Jacob’s ladder after the pilot arrived. The ladder was later observed down with a shoe on deck indicating the possibility of the crewmember falling overboard. After multiple searches came up with negative sightings, the Coast Guard did locate and recover a hard hat and a matching boot believed to belong to the missing crewmember at the time of his disappearance.

Resources used to search were:

  • Six Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews;
  • Two Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews;
  • An ATC Mobile MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew;
  • Two Coast Guard Station Dauphin Island 45-foot Response Boat — Medium crews;
  • The Coast Guard Cutters Seahawk and Bonito crews;
  • A 40-foot Coast Guard Auxiliary Flotilla boatcrew;
  • A 32-foot Mobile Police Department contender crew;
  • A 32-foot Alabama Marine Resources jet boatcrew;
  • A 23-foot Daphne Search and Rescue boatcrew;
  • A 27-foot Bon Secour Fire Department boatcrew.

“This is a very unfortunate event,” said Lt. j.g. Timothy Williams, public affairs officer for Coast Guard Sector Mobile. “Our thoughts and prayers go out to the family and friends of the missing crewmember.”

The search is suspended pending further developments.

By Professional Mariner Staff