Bourbon Rhode sinking: Fourth crew member confirmed dead

French offshore vessel owner Bourbon has confirmed the death of another crew member of the Bourbon Rhode anchor handling tug that sank in the Atlantic Ocean over the last weekend.

After it on Monday reported it had found a body of one crew member, and two more bodies on Tuesday, the company on Wednesday said that another body had been discovered in the Atlantic.

“Bourbon today mourns the death of another crew member following the sinking of the Bourbon Rhode in the Atlantic Ocean on September 26. The body of this fourth seafarer was discovered yesterday and transferred on the French Navy’s “Ventôse” frigate,” Bourbon said.

To remind, three crew members were rescued from a life raft, four bodies have so far been found, and seven crew members are still unaccounted for.

“On behalf of Bourbon, I would like to express our condolences to the family and friends of the deceased seafarer. We are at their side to accompany them through this terrible ordeal. Despite significant search resources for the rescue of the crew, the fate of the missing is an ever-increasing source of anxiety for the families. We remain fully mobilized to pursue relief operations and reiterate our warm thanks to all the teams that have volunteered and are helping us in our search,” said Bourbon Crisis Cell Director Cyrille Le Bris.

Over the past 7 days, an exceptionally extensive search operation has been implemented by the CROSS French West Indies-Guyana (Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue) and the French Navy, under the authority of the Prefect representing the State’s maritime authority, with the support of the American authorities, Bourbon said, adding that significant maritime and air resources continued to be deployed over research areas.

The Bourbon Rhode, used for offshore towing and anchor handling, had been on its way from Las Palmas to Guyana when it found itself near the eye of a hurricane and developed water ingress.

The 2006-built 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.”

The crew sent a distress signal on Thursday morning, sparking a search and rescue operation. Bourbon on Saturday confirmed that the vessel had sunk.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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