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Body recovered in desperate search for missing crew of sunken vessel

PortandTerminal.com, September 30, 2019

Bourbon Offshore has reported the death of one of the crew members of the offshore tug/supply vessel Bourbon Rhode. The body of the missing seafarer was located by one of the aircraft involved in the search and has been recovered by one of the five vessels that came to assist.

Bourbon Offshore has confirmed the death of one crew member from the Bourbon Rhode after the tug sank during Hurricane Lorenzo.

The French-based offshore services provider confirmed the news in a statement Monday as commercial vessels and French and American assets continue to search for the ten missing seafarers.

Yesterday PortandTerminal.com reported on the rescue of the 3 of the sunken vessel’s crew

Bourbon says the body of the missing seafarer was located by an aircraft involved in the search and rescue operation. One of the five commercial vessels participating in the search was able to recover the body.

The identity of the victim has not been disclosed.

Rescue operations are continuing Monday involving aircraft from the French Navy and U.S. National Hurricane Center, along with five commercial vessels that were diverted to assist in the search.

The offshore tug Bourbon Rhode, with 14 crew members, sent a distress signal last Thursday after becoming caught near the eye of Hurricane Lorenzo, a dangerous category 4 hurricane at the time.

On Saturday, search and rescue crews rescued three crew members from a life raft and it was confirmed that the tug had sunk.

Bourbon Rhode is part of Bourbon’s fleet of terminal tugs which provide assistance operations, standby, and support of offshore oil and gas terminals, and is specialized in assisting FPSOs.

The rescue is being coordinated by the Regional Operational Center of Surveillance and Rescue (Cross) of West Indies-Guyana.

The Luxembourg-flagged Bourbon Rhode is a 49.5-meter double azimuth stern drive tug with 100 metric ton bollard pull. The vessel was built in 2006 and is classed by Bureau Veritas. It is equipped with one Norsafe rescue craft with davit, in addition to liferafts. The vessel has rated speed of 13.5 knots.

“All our thoughts and prayers go to his family and loved ones. This tragedy affects all BOURBON employees who express their full support to the seafarers’ families,” said Gaël Bodénès, Chief Executive Officer of BOURBON Corporation. “We remain fully mobilized on search operations to find the other missing seafarers and I would like to express our gratitude to the rescuers, all the teams of the CROSS (Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue) and the teams of the crisis cells who are working tirelessly to this end.” 

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