IMO Secretary-General Kitack Lim has released a statement on the Stellar Daisy bulk carrier which sank in the South Atlantic on Friday (March 31, 2017) some 3,700 kilometers off Uruguay's coast.
Uruguay's navy told Reuters that it was losing hope of rescuing the remaining 22 crew members after two Filipino crew members were rescued from a life raft on Saturday.
The Uruguayan Navy have reported that only empty lifeboats, fuel and debris have been found since then.
Lim said: “At this stage, the most important thing to say is that our thoughts and prayers are with the seafarers still missing, and with their families and loved ones.
“And I would also like to offer my commendation to all those who have been involved in the search and rescue operations.
“Such operations are never without risk yet those who undertake them do so readily and without fear of the consequences to their own lives.
“They deserve our appreciation and gratitude.
“It is expected that there will be a full investigation into this accident and that the results and findings will be brought to IMO so that we can do whatever may be necessary to reduce the chances of such an incident happening again.
“Thankfully these occurrences are rare; but when they do happen, they serve to remind everyone that the seafarers, on whom we all depend, do a difficult and sometimes dangerous job; and that those of us responsible for making the industry safer can never stop striving for improvements.”
Image credit: International Maritime Organization