The Coast Guard and owners of the Vincentian-flagged cargo ship the MV Fair Chance are working to tow the vessel into Trinidad and Tobago waters after it drifted towards Venezuela over the weekend.
A media release from the Coast Guard on Sunday reported that the Fair Chance capsized after leaving Port of Spain on Friday afternoon, when the weight of the cargo shifted as the ship was travelling near Monos Island, off Chaguaramas.
Two crew members were rescued shortly afterwards by passing boats. Up to Monday afternoon the other five were still missing at sea. The Coast Guard continued its search off northwestern Trinidad.
A release on Monday reported that the Coast Guard tried to tow the boat into shallower and calmer waters, but also drifted into Venezuelan waters. The Coast Guard contacted Venezuelan authorities for permission to approach the vessel.
The release also reported that as of Sunday afternoon a tug boat began slowly towing the Fair Chance back to TT, but this was being done with caution, given the condition of the ship.
“This operation is challenging and taking some time because the vessel is partially submerged whilst being upside down, sea conditions are rough, and the direction of the tow is against the predominantly western current.”
It said the plan was to take the boat into the calmer and shallower waters of the Gulf of Paria so divers could start searching inside the overturned vessel for the missing crew.