Coast Guard suspends search for missing Turkish crewman in Gulf of Mexico

America's Heartland Coast Guard NewsNEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard suspended the search for a missing 26-year-old Turkish crewman approximately 230 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday evening.

Coast Guard aircrews from Air Station New Orleans, Air Station Clearwater, Fla., and Aviation Training Center Mobile, Ala., searched a total of more than 27,700 square-miles for 18 hours in an effort to locate the missing crewmember from the 816-foot Maltese-flagged vessel Aqua. The Aqua crew also assisted in the search by returning to the last known position the crewmember was aboard.

The Turkish crewman was last seen walking the deck of the Aqua wearing a green and brown shirt with no life jacket. He was reported missing after he did not report for his watch.

Resources used to search were:

  • Four ATC Mobile HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crews;
  • Three Air Station Clearwater HC-130 Hercules airplane crews;
  • One Air Station New Orleans MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crews.

“We highly recommend mariners wear life jackets whenever walking the outside decks of any vessel, and unfortunately, it was reported the crewman did not have one on,” said Lt. Matt Kor, the command duty officer for the 8th Coast Guard District command center. “We searched a square mileage area roughly of the size of the state of West Virginia for the missing Turkish crewmember.”

The search is suspended pending further developments.

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