September 29, 2019

The French marine services company Bourbon Offshore announced Thursday that its tugboat Bourbon Rhode, with 14 crew members, was in trouble with a waterway in the Atlantic, 60 nautical miles from the eye of Hurricane Lorenzo, a major Category 4 hurricane. It was later confirmed that the ship sank at about 1200 nautical miles off Marinique Island in the Carribean Sea. Bourbon Rhode is part of Bourbon’s fleet of tugs which supports the offshore oil and gas terminals, and is specialized in assisting FPSOs.
Bourbon Offshore advised that a Falcon 50 from the French Navy, specially equipped for this type of mission, located a life raft, with three members of the Bourbon Rhode crew on board on 28 September at around 5:00 am local time. The three sailors, two Ukrainians and one Russian, were recovered an hour later by the bulk carrier Piet. They said the Bourbon Rhode sank at sea on 26 September.
The search continues to find the eleven other sailors who could have taken place in the other three rafts of Bourbon Rhode. The crew included Ukrainians, Russians, Croats, Filipinos and South Africans. Five commercial ships (ISS Sentinel, Piet, Maran Triton, Erik and Baltic Lady) search the area 1200 miles east of Martinique. An American C130 Hercules from the National Hurricane Center (NHC) took part in the research on the afternoon of 28 September. A Dakar-based Falcon 50 is expected to fly over the area again on the morning of 29 September. The Ventose, one of the two surveillance frigates based in Fort-de-France, is expected in the night from Sunday to Monday.
On Sept. 26, the Moderate Imaging Spectroradiometer or MODIS instrument that flies aboard NASA’s Terra satellite provided a visible image of Lorenzo as a major hurricane. Hurricane-force winds extend outward up to 45 miles (75 km) from the center and tropical-storm-force winds extend outward up to 265 miles (425 km). Maximum sustained winds reached 145 mph (230 kph) with higher gusts.
According to Wunderground, Hurricane Lorenzo vaulted to Category 5 status late Saturday 28, becoming the Atlantic’s second Cat 5 storm of the year, the strongest hurricane ever observed so far east in the Atlantic, and one of the northernmost Cat 5s on record.

(Source: Bourbon Offshore/Unian/Workboat/Le Figaro/Kiyv Post/NASA/NOAA/Wunderground) – Image: NASA/ Bourbon Offshore)