Rescuers Searching Near Ambrose Channel for Missing Freighter Crewman

NEW YORK–Multiple rescue agencies are searching between Kill Van Kull and the Verrazano Narrows Bridge around Staten Island, N.Y., for Mohammad Bakhtier Uddin, a Bangladesh citizen, one of two freighter crewmembers who were reported missing at 5:55 a.m. today as the 797-foot cargo ship was departing New York.

A Good Samaritan located the second crewman, Mohammad Nayem Uddin, a Bangladesh citizen, at 8: 13 a.m. covered in garbage bags on Hoffman Island, just southwest of the Verrazano Narrows Bridge. A New York Police Department unit positively identified Mohammad Nayem Uddin as one of the missing crewmembers and transported him to Lutheran Medical Center in Brooklyn for medical treatment.

The 797-foot freighter Manhattan Bridge notified the Coast Guard Vessel Traffic Center New York as it was leaving the Port of New York that the two men were missing during muster. Both were last reported on the ship wearing orange coveralls, and a life jacket was missing from one crewman’s quarters. Both men’s passports were found on the cargo ship.

Rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Stations New York and Sandy Hook, N.J., and NYPD and New York Fire Department harbor units are searching an area approximately 16 square miles from the entrance of the Kill Van Kull, N.J., to the entrance to the Ambrose Channel. A Coast Guard Air Station Cape Cod, Mass., HH-60J rescue helicopter crew and an NYPD helicopter crew are searching as well. An NYPD K-9 unit is continuing to search Hoffman Island for the other missing man.

“We don’t yet know the circumstances that led to both these men being in the water, our focus is on trying to find this second crewmember,” said Lt. Craig Toomey, Coast Guard Sector New York command duty watch officer. “We’re working with NYPD and FDNY land, air and surface units to span the areas around the Ambrose channel and Hoffman Island in hopes of finding this crewmember alive and well.”

The vessel Manhattan Bridge, whose home port is in Panama, is currently at the Ambrose anchorage.

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