Family members of the 22 missing seafarers from the ill fated Stellar Daisy very large ore carrier (VLOC) have not given up hope and have sent letters to US president Donald Trump and his secretary of defence, James Mattis, asking for help.
The VLOC, built in 1993 originally as a VLCC and converted to an ore carrier 16 years later, was fully laden with iron ore when it sank on March 31 in the South Atlantic off Uruguay. Just two men have been rescued to date and the search and rescue mission, now nearly a month on, has been scaled back.
However, the families of the missing men are holding out as there is still one missing liferaft that has not been accounted for. Moreover, on April 8 a US Navy aircraft deployed in the search made an initial report that it had seen an orange coloured object that it thought might be a liferaft. An image was taken of the object and subsequently it was deemed to be an oil slick. The families of the missing crew are now asking Trump to release the image to Korean authorities so that it can be further analysed. The Trump administration has yet to respond.
The families have also lashed out at the owner of the ship, Polaris and the Korean government for not spending more in the search mission with some experts suggesting that drones or satellites should have been used to help in the mission.
Meanwhile, the Stellar Unicorn, another converted Polaris ore carrier, finally got underway today, leaving Cape Town after being patched up following the discovery of a crack in its hull days after the sinking of the Stellar Daisy.