South Korean families of the missing crew members of the “Stellar Daisy” which sank off Uruguay in March 2017, were calling on the authorities to continue the SAR operation for the missing ´24 crew members, eight South Korean and sixteen Filipino sailors. Only two Filipino sailors had been rescued on Apr 1. The victims’ families have set up an organization which has been campaigning over the past nine months for the SAR operation to be resumed in order to determine the cause of the sinking of the vessel.
The families insisted the vessel’s VDR needed to be found in order to determine what caused the sinking and for those responsible to be held accountable. So far, their efforts haven’t been very fruitful and they were asking for international support in order to encourage Korean authorities to act and designate the needed funds to resume search efforts. The families believed that there was still hope that survivors may be found as two life rafts from the vessel remain unaccounted for.
In addition, they were asking from the U.S. Government to release the information they gathered during their search for the survivors, including photos and videos of a life raft sighting by a U.S. Navy airplane on April 8, 2017, in order to determine whether any sailors managed to escape the shipwreck. The outdated bulker had split in half following a hull crack causing shifting of cargo and subsequent sinking. Just a few days after the incident, Polaris Shipping, owner of the ship, confirmed that another of the company’s vessels reported a crack on the outer hull of a tank. As a result, the company had launched inspection of all its operated vessels.
The company’s premises were also raided as part of South Korean Coast Guard’s investigation into the incident, the aftermath of which has put into the spotlight the company’s operation of the vessel and its conversion, along with the alleged “slow reaction” to distress calls sent from the ship at the time of the sinking.
Source: Vessel Tracker