REHOBOTH, DEL. (Special from the Beach News) — Was it a case of mutiny, a deranged crew member having a psychotic episode or something entirely different that took the lives of two of the ship’s crew and injured a third? We may never know because what happened aboard the Genco Challenger took place in international waters about 27 miles south/southeast of Rehoboth Beach.
Coast Guard crews spent Friday morning searching the Atlantic Ocean for a man who went overboard from the 550-foot cargo vessel while it was in international waters off the Delaware coast around 9:30 p.m. Thursday.
But why he went overboard and how two other men on the ship got stabbed remains unclear, says Petty Officer Nick Ameen, Coast Guard spokesman.
The missing man’s body was spotted around 4 p.m. Friday by crew members on the anchored ship. The body was recovered around 7:45 p.m. by a Coast Guard crew from Station Indian River. The Delaware medical examiner will conduct an autopsy.
The two other men who were stabbed had been taken to the hospital by the Coast Guard, P.O. Ameen said. One of them did not survive.
The Coast Guard is still trying to piece together what happened. P.O. Ameen said the Genco Challenger is registered in Hong Kong, and the Coast Guard has had language troubles with the crew. He would not speculate if either of the dead men or the survivor were victims or suspects. P.O. Ameen says the Coast Guard is consulting with the State Dept. as to the best course of action.
The vessel remained anchored in international waters but made its way up the Delaware River early Sunday. “I don’t have any further details,” P.O. Ameen said early Sunday evening, “but I hope the ship’s arrival helps to move the investigation along and determine what happened.”
Check the ship’s current location here.
The Genco Challenger is one of more than 50 cargo vessels owned by Genco Shipping & Trading Limited of New York which filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy in April. On July 30, the company announced that its stock began trading as a new common stock on the OTC Bulletin Board (GSKNF and GNKSF).
The company has yet to respond to requests about this incident either by telephone or e-mail.
File photo courtesy Max Mueller