Two Maersk offshore vessels sink off French coast

Two offshore vessels Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper sank on Thursday off the coast of France.

The incident happened as the vessels were being towed to Turkey by Maersk Battler, as they’ve recently been sold for scrap.

In a message to Offshore Energy Today, Danish offshore vessel owner Maersk Supply Service confirmed the incident.

The company’s COO, Claus Bachmann, said: “We can confirm that the Maersk Supply Service vessel, Maersk Battler, lost two towed supply vessels on December 22. The Maersk Supply vessels Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper sunk 60 miles off the coast of France.

The two towed vessels were unmanned. There are 10 people on board the towing vessel Maersk Battler. All are well and accounted for. Coast guard of France has been informed of the incident.

Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper were on route to a Turkish ship yard for recycling. Maersk Battler was assigned as towing vessel for the two vessels and the convoy left Fredericia, Denmark on December 12. Prior to departure both towed vessels had been emptied of lubricant oil and diesel oil.

We are currently investigating the cause of the incident. No further information is available at this point in time.”

Maersk Searcher and Maersk Shipper were sold by Maersk Supply Service under its fleet reduction program. The company announced in August 2016 it would cut its fleet by up to 20 vessels over a period of 18 months.

Providing the rationale for the move, the company said it was cutting fleet as a response to vessels in layup, limited trading opportunities and the global over-supply of offshore supply vessels in the industry.

So far, ten of the 20 vessels have already left the fleet and the divestments will continue in 2017.

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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