- The Washington Times - Friday, October 2, 2015

The Coast Guard announced Friday that it was searching for a missing container ship with 33 crew members aboard that was caught in Hurricane Joaquin, near Crooked Island in the Bahamas.

The 735-foot cargo ship was en route to San Juan, Puerto Rico, from Jacksonville, Florida.

The Coast Guard said it had received its last satellite communication with the ship around 7:30 a.m. Thursday. The crew had reported the ship previously took on water, but that the flooding had been contained.

The Coast Guard has not yet been able to reestablish communication with the ship.

A Coast Guard aircrew and two Air Force Hurricane Hunter aircrews have launched in an effort to reestablish communication with the ship, but those efforts have been unsuccessful so far.

News of the missing ship comes after the Coast Guard rescued 12 people who abandoned a 212-foot cargo ship that started to sink Thursday night near Haiti.

Lt. Cmdr. Gabe Somma said the Coast Guard received a message that the crew members aboard the Bolivian-flagged cargo ship Minouche were making preparations to abandon the ship, WPLG Miami reported.

The Coast Guard found the crew clinging to a life raft about 10:30 p.m. A rescue helicopter hoisted the crew members to safety. No one was injured.

Lt. Cmdr. Somma said the Coast Guard’s resources have been spread thin because of the Category 4 Hurricane Joaquin.

As of Friday, the hurricane was projected to bypass the East Coast, but heavy rains and potential flooding are expected over the weekend.

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