Update: Bourbon Offshore vessel sinks in Atlantic Ocean. Three crew members saved, 11 missing

The article has been updated to include a statement issued by Bourbon on Sunday evening

The Bourbon Rhode offshore tug supply vessel that found itself near the eye of the hurricane Lorenzo on Thursday has sunk in the Atlantic, Bourbon Offshore, the owner of the vessel has confirmed. Three crew members have been rescued, while the search for the remaining eleven crew members is underway.

Bourbon Rhode / Image source: Bourbon Offshore
Bourbon Rhode / Image source: Bourbon Offshore

The Bourbon Rhode had been on its way from Las Palmas to Guyana, when it sent a distress call on Thursday, reporting of water ingress in the rear part of the vessel. The vessel, with 14 crew members aboard was at the time in transit at 1200 nautical miles off Martinique island and 60 nautical miles South-South East from the eye of category 4 hurricane “Lorenzo.”

Bourbon on Thursday evening said that bulk carrier “SSI EXCELLENT” was asked to change its route and assist the Bourbon Rhode. The bulk carrier had been located 200 nautical miles south of the last known location of the 2006-built Bourbon Rhode.

In an update on Saturday, Bourbon Offshore said: “In the context of search operations of tug supply vessel Bourbon Rhode started on September 26, the mobilized rescue teams have recovered a lifeboat with 3 crew members on board, the lifeboat having been identified by a Falcon 50 [jet aircraft] especially equipped for this type of mission and sent by the French Navy.

According to (unofficial) information from the Facebook group BOURBON RHODE RESCUE, the rescued members are one Russian and two Ukrainians.

Related: Rescue op launched for Bourbon vessel hit by extreme weather

“The 3 crew members are currently taken in charge by the medical support team onboard the commercial vessel, which provided assistance, and are currently placed under medical observation,” Bourbon said.

Bourbon on Saturday also confirmed that the vessel had sunk, and said that the search continued to be carried out “in weather conditions that are improving.”

“All necessary means are implemented by the Cross AG and the French Navy, under the authority of the Prefect representing the State’s maritime authority, namely numerous flyovers carried out by the Falcon 50 over the search zone. Numerous commercial vessels have had their course changed in order to bring assistance, as well as a plane of the U.S. National Hurricane Center,” Bourbon Offshore said.

“The crisis cell put into place by BOURBON works in very close collaboration with the Cross AG and the French Navy. BOURBON’s teams are mobilized to keep the families of the crew members informed and bring them full support in this difficult time. An update on the situation will be published soon,” the French offshore vessel owner said on Saturday afternoon.

The Croatian news website Večernji has reported that the captain of the ship is Dino Miškić, from Šibenik, Croatia. He is reportedly one of the eleven crew members still missing.

Update: Monday, September 30, 2019 – Capsized fast rescue craft was spotted

In an update on Sunday evening, Bourbon Said the search for the Bourbon Rhode continues with the full support of Cross AG and the French navy, under the authority of the Prefect representing the French national maritime authority.

“Five commercial vessels have changed course in order to bring assistance to the rescue teams. A Falcon 50 of the French navy, as well as the aircraft of the American National Hurricane Center (NHC), conducted numerous overflights of the search area. The French navy’s surveillance frigate “Ventôse” and “Panther” helicopter will intervene tomorrow, September 30,” Bourbon said.

“[On Saturday] in the beginning of the night, a capsized fast rescue craft was spotted first by the NHC aircraft and then by the Falcon 50. A commercial vessel engaged in the operation is currently headed in its direction in order to try to recover it. BOURBON’s crisis cell and teams remain fully mobilized to keep track of the situation and maintain contact with the families of the crew members, bringing them their full support in this difficult time,” Bourbon said on Sunday evening (CET).


The map shows the Bourbon Rhode last known location - generated by VesselsValue
The map shows the Bourbon Rhode last known location – generated by VesselsValue

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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