UNITED STATES: The U.S. Coast Guard has revealed that it has suspended an ongoing search and rescue operation for a Singaporean man who fell off a cargo ship in USA waters after 15 hours of intense search efforts proved fruitless.
The missing man, 25-year-old Muhammad Furqan Mohamed Rashid, held a Diploma in Nautical Sciences from the Singapore Polytechnic and was a naval firefighter with the Singapore Civil Defense Force during his military service. He then joined his current company, Apex Ship Management, as a deck officer and was a deck officer II before the incident.
The young man was attending a junior deck officer course in the United States and was working on board a cargo ship when the incident occurred. He was reportedly on deck getting ready to exercise when he fell off the ship and into the ocean as the merchant’s vessel travelled about 22 kilometres from the Californian coast.
His family was told that the warden of the merchant ship immediately called for help and lowered the life buoy in an unsuccessful attempt to rescue him. The ship then turned around to look for him and notified the U.S. Coast Guard.
The authority quickly deployed its team to conduct a 15-hour search and rescue operation involving sea and air routes. The team dispatched helicopters; the search and rescue range exceeded 200 nautical miles.
Unfortunately, the team only found life buoys and suspended the search after the arduous 15 hours it had spent covering 370 kilometres to find the young Singaporean. The U.S. Coast Guard expressed its deepest condolences to Muhammad Furkan’s family.
According to a Los Angeles Daily, the coordinator of the search and rescue operation, John Rose, said that they had to stop the operation due to physical and mental fatigue and that this decision was not easy.
A representative from Singapore’s Ministry of Foreign Affairs said they are in touch with Muhammad Furkan’s loved ones and ready to assist the bereaved family.
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