Engineer missing for a year after disappearance on cargo ship

A 24-year-old Turkish man has been missing for almost a year after mysteriously disappearing during an expedition aboard a Liberian-flagged cargo ship.

The vessel was en route from Egypt’s Suez port to Portugal’s Porto when Acar was last seen on Sept. 7, 2022.

Acar, employed as an engineer on the 172-meter-long and 27-meter-wide cargo ship, was last seen on board the vessel during its journey across the open sea after transiting the Suez Canal. Despite an extensive search conducted by the ship’s crew, no trace of Acar was found.

Authorities initiated search and rescue efforts, which were jointly led by the Turkish foreign and transport and infrastructure ministries, but yielded no results.

One of Acar’s suitcases, containing his personal belongings, was located and sent to Istanbul via the Portuguese consulate. Officials at a prosecutor’s office in the northern province of Giresun, his hometown, examined the contents of the suitcase, including Acar’s mobile phone and computer.

While no concerning content was discovered on his computer, the investigation into his mobile phone continues. Meanwhile, the other suitcase belonging to Acar remains missing.

Acar’s family is enduring an agonizing wait for information about their son. With 355 days since his disappearance, the family clings to hope while grappling with uncertainty.

Sinan Acar, the father, expressed his desperate desire for closure, saying, “I’ve held onto hope for a year. This hope is what keeps me alive… I want to know what happened to my son. Uncertainty will kill me. I have no strength left to endure this.”

Arzu Acar, the mother, recounted the emotional toll of her son’s absence. “My son’s shoes and the book he always carried with him are missing [in the suitcase]. There is something suspicious about this,” she said.

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