Crew of Lithuanian missing ship Linkuva officially declared dead

  • 2000-08-03
VILNIUS (BNS) - A commission investigating the cause of the disappearance of the Lithuanian ship Linkuva has concluded that the crew of 18 people must be officially declared dead.

Presenting his conclusions July 28, the deputy Minister of Transport, Ricardas Malkevicius, said that the Linkuva was caught in the hurricane Carlotta in the Pacific Ocean about 350 km South of Acapulco.

The commission's conclusions read that the crew had been warned about the approaching hurricane but, admittedly, decided to stay on course because at the time, the forecast did not look right as the wind seemed to be less strong than predicted.

With the increasing strength of the wind, the ship's engine failed because of overloading and the danger of the vessel capsizing. Some time later, the crew managed to start the main engine but by that time the radio link with the ship had been lost.

The last radio contact with the ship was made on June 21. The United States and Mexican coastal defence services searched for the missing ship for eight days.

The commission will hand its conclusions to the prime minister who will set up a state commission to investigate the circumstances of the ship's disappearance and verify the information.