Bow Mariner Crew Silent in USCG Questioning
The lawyers for the surviving crew members of the ?Bow Mariner? are instructing them not to answer USCG investigators questions regarding the explosion off Virginia. The four surviving crew members are invoking the constitutional rights of self-incrimination.
Jerry Crooks, USCG Chief of Investigations said, ?We respect their Fifth Amendment rights. But, until they tell us what they know, we can?t figure out what happened.?
Crooks also said that there have been three methanol tankers that have exploded around the world in the past three months, which leads investigators to believe that there are underlying safety issues that must be addressed. Crooks said, ?The explosion of the Bow Mariner was seen 14 miles away. What if that happened inside a U.S. port??
The Bow Mariner exploded off the Virginia coast on February 28th, leaving 21 crew members dead or missing.
It has also come to light that that the ?Bow Power,? the sister ship of the ?Bow Mariner,? was cited by the USCG on February 27, 2003, because its cargo hull contained dangerously high levels of oxygen, which could lead to an explosion.
With little or no oxygen, a product like ethanol cannot explode. Ethanol is a colorless alcohol widely used as a solvent in the manufacturing of perfumes and paints.
Both ships are owned by Norway-based Odfjell Seachem and operated by Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprise Ltd., a Greek shipping company.