Two More Bourbon Rhode Crew Found Dead

Bourbon Rhode (Credit: Bourbon Offshore)
file photo of Bourbon Rhode (Credit: Bourbon Offshore)

Published Oct 1, 2019 5:51 PM by The Maritime Executive

The death toll for the Bourbon Rhode sinking has risen to three, with eight missing, after Bourbon announced that the bodies of two mariners were recovered at sea last night and transferred on the French navy frigate Ventôse.

The Luxembourg-flag tug supply vessel Bourbon Rhode was in transit 1,200 nautical miles off Martinique Island and 60 nautical miles South-South East from the eye of category 4 hurricane Lorenzo when she began taking on water at the stern in the adverse weather conditions. It was confirmed on Sunday that the vessel has sunk. So far, rescue teams have recovered a lifeboat with three Bourbon Rhode crew members safely on board.

The research operations carried out by the French authorities with the support of the U.S. authorities are part of exceptional measures, further intensified in recent days, said Bourbon in a statement. Since the beginning of the operations on September 26, 10 commercial vessels have been mobilized in the area. Daily overflights are performed by a Falcon 50 of the French Navy, supported by a C 130 Hercules aircraft from the U.S. Coast Guard. The Navy frigate, accompanied by its helicopter, is at the heart of the system and coordinates the grid of nearly 40 search areas.

"On behalf of all Bourbon employees, I would like to pay tribute to the deceased sailors,” said CEO Gaël Bodénès. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones who are grieving over this dramatic event. We stand in full solidarity with them in this ordeal and assure them of our strongest support. Research operations are continuing on this sixth day and the mobilization of the maritime world is unprecedented. I would like to express our gratitude to all the research teams and those who volunteer."