Bourbon Rhode searchers spot potential distress flare

The search for survivors from the Bourbon Rhode tug supply vessel that sank in late September after finding itself near the category 4 hurricane has delivered no result so far after seafarers spotted a potential distress flare in the area.

Bourbon Rhode; Source: Bourbon

According to Bourbon’s update on Tuesday, October 8, following reports by two seafarers onboard the Alp Striker during the night of Sunday to Monday, of signals that they interpreted as potentially emanating from a distress flare, the vessel immediately set a course for the area, in coordination with the CROSS Antilles-Guyane.

The CROSS called on three additional commercial vessels to change course and head to the area reported as being the origin of the signal. It also received air support from U.S. authorities by way of the aircraft Hercules C-130.

The search operations led by the Alp Striker, involving namely drones, as well as the operations carried out by the three other vessels, and the flyover by the U.S. aircraft Hercules C-130, have delivered no result at this stage, Bourbon said in the statement.

The crisis cells are pursuing their actions and Bourbon’s teams are offering daily support to the families of crewmembers of the Bourbon Rhode.

The offshore vessel Bourbon Rhode sank on September 26 after finding itself near the eye of a category 4 hurricane “Lorenzo.” Before sinking, the crew sent a distress signal in which it said the vessel had developed a water ingress. There were 14 people aboard at the time of the accident. The vessel had been on its way from Las Palmas to Guyana.

Three crew members were rescued, four were confirmed dead and their bodies recovered, while seven crew members still remain missing.

On Saturday, October 5 Bourbon called off the search for the seven missing sailors, which sparked an outrage in Croatia as the ship’s Captain is from Šibenik, Croatia. A petition was launched for the search to continue.

Three survivors from the Bourbon Rhode arrived in Fort de France on Sunday on board the French Navy frigate Ventôse.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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