Coast Guard Suspends Search for Missing Tanker Crew

NEW YORK–The U.S. Coast Guard suspended an extensive multi-agency search at 10 p.m. today for a crewman who fell from the 600-foot tanker ship Overseas Altamar about 20 miles south of the Ambrose Channel 10 a.m. Sunday.

Coast Guard, New York Police Department, Nassau County Police, and Air National Guard rescuers in 11 ships, boats, airplanes and helicopters searched approximately 2,000 square miles, an area greater than the size of Rhode Island, for 36 hours without locating the 46-year-old Philippine national.

Authorities are withholding his name until next of kin notifications can be completed.

“The Coast Guard and our first responder partners take great pride in saving lives so suspending any search is an extremely difficult decision that we take very seriously,” said Lt.j.g. Richard Sullivan, Coast Guard Sector New York duty officer. “We came to this decision after considering many factors including sea temperature, this crewman’s attire, the known location of where he fell overboard, and searching an expansive area for 36-hours with multiple rescue crews without finding him. We extend our deepest condolences to his family, his friends and his shipmates.”

The Overseas Altamar was en route to the Port of New York from the Netherlands when the crewman apparently slipped and fell into the sea Sunday morning. Other crewmen threw him a life ring, and the ship radioed the Coast Guard and changed course in an attempt to relocate him. He was reportedly wearing orange coveralls and a blue flotation jacket. The water temperature was reported at 73 degrees, the seas at two feet, and about two miles of visibility throughout Monday’s search.

Coast Guard Sector New York Command Center, Coast Guard Station Sandy Hook, Coast Guard Cutters Ridley, Seneca and Chinook, Coast Guard Air Stations Atlantic City and Cape Cod, New York Police Department Harbor and Aviation Units, Nassau County Aviation and an Air National Guard Unit were involved in the search.

“OSG Ship Management would like to express their sincere condolences to the relatives and friends of our crewmember who was lost at sea Sunday,” said Capt. Robert E. Johnston, Senior Vice President of Overseas Shipholding Group, Inc. “We would also like to thank the U.S. Coast Guard, the New York City police and all the local mariners who participated in the massive sea and air search for the valued member of our seafaring family.”

The U.S. Coast Guard will coordinate with the vessels flag nation in investigating the cause of the incident.

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