US Coast Guard Searching for Freighter Sinking off Haiti

The United States Coast Guard (USCG) is responding to a report received on the night of October 1 of the 212-foot general cargo ship Minouche with 12 crew members aboard sinking 51 nautical miles northwest of Haiti, reportedly due to severe weather conditions caused by the Hurricane Joaquin.

Coast Guard 7th District Command Center watchstanders received a relay message from Her Majesty’s Coast Guard after they received an Inmarsat satellite message stating the Bolivian-flagged Minouche was listing 30 degrees to port and all 12 crew members aboard were making preparations to abandon ship.

The crew members reportedly transferred to life raft in stormy weather and heavy swells.

USCG diverted the Coast Guard Cutter Northland and launched a helicopter crew from Great Inagua, Bahamas, to assist the crew of the sinking vessel.

A good Samaritan vessel and member of the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel Rescue System (AMVER) has also been diverted to the last known position of the 1980-built freighter.

The 1,525 dwt Minouche is managed by Florida-based Caribbean Ship Services Inc.