Oct 2 1300 UTC UPDATE: SAR continues, some cargo ships are leaving SAR being themselves in danger (one for example, is having engine problem, running out of fuel and not big enough to hold on effective SAR in deteriorating weather conditions). 4 dead seamen were found, bodies recovered. Reportedly 3 survivors and 4 bodies were all taken on board of frigate VENTOSE. French Air Force Falcon 50 jet and USCG Hercules plane are deployed, plus VENTOSE helicopter. Offshore tug ALP STRIKER joined SAR – indispensable asset if it comes to recovering people in stormy seas, quite a task for regular commercial freighters, but offshore tugs are designed for it. It was once mentioned, that survivors witnessed 7 crew going into life raft. There’s still hope, SAR must continue.
Rumors point at azimuth thrusters failure as the cause of the disaster. BOURBON RHODE didn’t have conventional propulsion and steering propeller and rudder, two azimuth thrusters were both for propulsion and steering purposes. If they fail in stormy ocean – not sea, but in the middle of the ocean – a small tug is doomed, having non or very small chance of survival.
In full: http://maritimebulletin.net/2019/09/27/bourbon-offshore-tug-distressed-in-atlantic-14-crew-waiting-rescue/