BOURBON offshore tug sank, 3 rescued, 11 missing, Updates

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Sep 28 UPDATE 1520 UTC: According to Ukrainian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, AHL tug BOURBON RHODE understood sank, 3 crew including 2 Ukrainians rescued, fate of 11 unknown. Bulk carrier SSI EXCELLENCE according to track, left SAR area. MFA statement refers to owner information. Information not yet verified, and not complete, let’s hope for the best.
Sep 28 1720 UTC UPDATE: BOURBON RHODE confirmed sank. SAR still going on, at least 2 more ships joined operation, coordinated by MRCC: General cargo ship ERIK (IMO 9435105) and supertanker, VLCC MARAN TRITON (IMO 9237632). There is still hope.
3 rescued seamen were picked up from life raft, they said tug sank on Sep 26.

Sep 29 UPDATE 0430 UTC: SAR continues, several ships are searching for survivors in SAR area, with deployment of patrol planes.

Sep 30 latest: SAR still on, tug had problems before caught in storm
As of 0400 UTC Sep 30, SAR was going on with at least 4 cargo ships ploughing through SAR area, and planes conducting air surveillance. One lifeless floating body was spotted by plane, but later lost, so body wasn’t recovered. SSI EXCELLENCE left SAR and resumed voyage, no information yet on 3 seamen rescued by bulk carrier, but they’re safe, that’s what matters.
According to insiders’ information, BOURBON RHODE was drydocked recently, prior to her last voyage to South America, where she was to be working under charter. Something was done wrong or went wrong during repairs, the tug encountered trouble or troubles before she was caught in cyclone. Master of tug is Croatian, Second Officer is Filipino, bosun is from South Africa, fitter is Russian, the rest are Ukrainians.

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Hi! My name is Stepan Kotcherga, I’m Merchant Marine Navigation Officer, now a Second Officer working on dry cargo ships. My home is in Ukraine. I’m contributing maritime news and inside info.