Odfjell’s vessel with Filipino crewmembers sinks off US east coast

MT Bow Mariner, a product tanker owned by Singaporean subsidiary of Norwegian chemical transportation company Odfjell had suffered an explosion and sank off the coast of Virginia on the US east coast early morning February 29, Norwegian time, announced Odfjell ASA.
     The vessel had a crew of 27 people – 24 Filipinos and three Greeks. Nine of the crewmembers were reportedly picked up by the US Coast Guard, but three of them deceased. Among the six rescued crewmembers, five are reportedly in good condition while the sixth is stable and improving. Eighteen are still missing and search and rescue operations are ongoing in the area.
     Odfjell has expressed its deep sorrow on the tragic accident that has caused loss of life.
     Bow Mariner was en route from New York to Texas City, with about 11,000 mt Ethanol. She sank after an explosion and fire. The cause of the accident is not established.
     The vessel is managed by Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises in Greece, commercially operated by Odfjell in Bergen, Norway and owned by Odfjell’s subsidiary Odfjell Asia II Pte Ltd, Singapore.
     The ship’s flag state authority, Singapore, has asked the US Coast Guard to carry out investigation on their behalf. Odfjell and Ceres both have their representatives on scene to support and assist with the operations and the investigation.
     Over-flights have been made by US Coast Guard but no decision as to initiating any clean up has been made. Clean up personnel and equipment are available and on stand by.
     Bow Mariner was subject to periodical routine inspections in North America last year. No deficiencies where found during an inspection in Vancouver. In the last inspection in Philadelphia in October five insignificant deficiencies were noted. These were corrected immediately and the ship sailed without delay. Also the classification society, Det Norske Veritas, has done periodical routine inspections. Class records are clean without any conditions of class issued.
     More details on the tragic incident can be read on Odfjell’s home page http://www.odfjell.com. Updates will also be published there when information is available.

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