8 still unaccounted for as rescue efforts end at Saltpond

Seventy-two hours since the fishing vessel, MV Comforter II sank 46 nautical miles south of Saltpond in the Central Region, it has been established that eight persons remain unaccounted for.

Meanwhile the search for missing persons, including a fishing observer from the Fisheries Commission whose identity has been withheld, has ended. It has also been established that a total of 24 persons were on board the MV Comforter II.

As of now, 15 people have been rescued. One person was found dead floating in the sea and has been identified as the captain of the vessel, a Chinese national named Cai Yuanqu, 62.

Those rescued are 12 Ghanaians and three Chinese nationals.

The accident happened on Friday [May 6, 2022] but the Ghana Navy got wind of it on Saturday dawn [May 7, 2022] and joined the search party.

Enoch Tetteh Opata, the Public Relations Officer from the 2 Garrison of the the Ghana Navy confirmed that the search has been abandoned.

“Well the latest is that we still have not gotten hold of the eight that have gone missing as a result of the sinking of the vessel,” he said. “The unaccounted for bodies are seven Ghanaians and one Chinese [national], making eight in all,” he said.

“Apart from those rescued, the eight remaining have still not been found,” and Opata said there was no hope that the eight will still be alive.

“We still have our ears on the ground and we are monitoring to see where they will be washed, if they will be washed ashore, then we take the necessary steps,” he added

According to the survivors, they actually had a bumper harvest, so they were trying to haul the net and in doing that, the vessel lifted.

They prompted the captain about the situation, but he [captain] insisted that they continue to haul the net and in doing so, it lifted further and eventually, the vessel capsized.

“It [catch] was heavy and so due to the high wind also, it caused the boat to lift.”

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