Search efforts for missing Bourbon Rhode crew unsuccessful

Search efforts for the missing Bourbon Rhode crew have been unsuccessful following a potential distress flare spotted in the area. According to Bourbon, search operations continue but they are entering a new phase of active monitoring. 

Bourbon Rhode; Source: Bourbon

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.

Three survivors from the Bourbon Rhode arrived in Fort de France on Sunday, October 6 on board the French Navy frigate Ventôse.

French vessel operator Bourbon said on Saturday, October 12 that, following the report of a possible distress flare on the night of Sunday 6 to Monday October 7, the CROSS French West Indies-Guyana (Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue) had dispatched four ships to search the area, with the support of an overflight by the US Coast Guards aircraft.

Over the past week, search has been intense and extensive to try to detect a sign after on the one hand, the report of this potential distress flare and on the other hand, the satellite photo obtained from the European Maritime Safety Agency (EMSA). These new searches have unfortunately been unsuccessful, Bourbon reported.

As a whole, search operations have not found any trace of life or life rafts for more than 10 days now despite measures of exceptional magnitude, Bourbon said.

Search and rescue operations have been going on for 16 days.

As decided by the CROSS, search operations are not suspended and won’t stop on a specific date. But they are entering a new phase of active monitoring during which the CROSS will mobilize all vessel transiting in the area to implement an adapted monitoring, according to Bourbon.

“Our priority is to provide families and relatives of the Bourbon Rhode crew with all possible support under these tragic circumstances. On behalf of all the employees and in particular all those who work tirelessly within the Bourbon crisis cells, I want to reiterate how much our thoughts are with the families of the missing seafarers,” Bourbon CEO Gaël Bodénès said.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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