Falklands : SEARCH FOR MISSING SEAMEN CALLED OFF
Submitted by Falkland Islands News Network (Juanita Brock) 28.03.2011 (Article Archived on 13.04.2011)
Three fishermen are presumed to have died after being reported missing from their vessel on Saturday evening.
SEARCH FOR MISSING SEAMEN CALLED OFF
A report for FIBS by Stacey Bragger (SB) 28 March 2011
Three fishermen are presumed to have died after being reported missing from their vessel on Saturday evening. Marine Officer, Malcolm Jamison says that at 1952hrs on Saturday evening FIC agents informed the FISHOPS Duty Officer on three crew members missing from the Jigger, Shuan Ching 1, which was transhipping to the Refrigerator Cargo Vessel Pussan Reefer, which was approximately 1.5 Nautical Miles East of Long Island in Berkley Sound. They were last seen at roughly 1900hrs.
The Duty Officer, Bernard Meehan, requested the services of launches from the FIC and Sulivans’, who proceeded to the area. The offshore supply vessel, Toza Invincible, on passage to Stanley at the time was requested to divert to Berkley Sound and carry out a search. The JOC was informed and scrambled a SeaKing Helicopter. Officers from the Royal Falkland Islands Police attended the vessels by launch and the King Edward memorial hospital was informed of the situation.
A search of the area was carried out using the launches, the SeaKing helicopter and the Toza Invincible. Nothing was seen and the search was stood down at 2310hrs when the SeaKing was recalled to MPA. The Royal Falkland Islands Police were informed, who in turn notified the Hospital.
A launch from Sulivans’ undertook a search at first light the following morning until 0745hrs when the Protogat left FIPASS for Berkley Sound where it remained for the day. Members of the Falkland Islands Defence Force undertook a shore search of the South Coast of Berkley Sound. The RAF SeaKing was in attendance on Sunday morning and at 1140am the helicopter advised that it was short of fuel and would return to base having searched the entire area. HMS York attended the scene later in the day to carry out a search. The search was called off at 1600hrs on Sunday afternoon.
No lifejackets were known to have been worn and it is believed that the seamen were not wearing much clothing at the time. A fender had been reported missing from the Jigger but has, to date, not been found.
On Sunday afternoon the investigation carried out by the Royal Falkland Islands Police was completed and the vessel was free to return to the fishing grounds, having found no reasons why the three had gone missing. The vessel, which had come into Stanley Harbour on Sunday morning, left that evening. The Fisheries Department say they would like to thank all concerned for their efforts.