The following is the text of a press release issued by the U.S. Coast Guard:
(KODIAK, Alaska) — The Coast Guard suspended the search Sunday at 8 p.m. for a man who fell overboard from the 936-foot Korean-flagged container vessel Mol Explorer 900 miles southeast of Kodiak Saturday. Two Coast Guard Air Station Kodiak HC-130 Hercules airplane crews searched an area covering more than 1,500 square miles.
The Mol Explorer and crew searched the area, but have since continued their voyage to Tokyo.
“The Coast Guard suspended the search because further searching for the man will not improve the probability of success,” said Lt. j. g. Eddie Michno, District 17 search and rescue controller. “Based on the information we received from the vessel the man’s functional time in the water of that temperature was about eight hours. This was based on wind and water temperatures only and did not include the six-foot to 10-foot seas encountered throughout the entire search.”
Coast Guard District 17 watchstanders were notified at about 4:30 p.m. Saturday that a 49-year-old South Korean crewmember on the container ship Mol Explorer was discovered missing at about 2:30 p.m. The man was last seen about 22 hours earlier at dinner.
Weather conditions were reported at one mile of visibility, nine-foot seas, 10 mph winds with a water temperature between 68 and 72 degrees.