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Tug Boat Sinks In Atlantic, 2 Ukrainians Rescued, 11 Crewmen Still Missing

A tugboat carrying 14 crewmen sunk while in a storm in the Atlantic Ocean on September 26. Three crew members have been rescued, 11 are still missing. (file photo)

Two Ukrainian crewmen have been rescued aboard a lifeboat after a tug boat they were on disappeared on September 26 in a storm 1,200 nautical miles off the island of Martinique in the Atlantic Ocean.

The vessel’s operator, the French-based shipping company Bourbon, said in a news release on September 28 that three of the vessel’s 14 crew members had been rescued.

Two of them were Ukrainians, tweeted Vasyl Kyrylych, director of the consular services department at the Ukrainian Foreign Ministry.

There was no word on the 11 still missing while Ukrainian media have reported that most of the crew members are Ukrainians.

Bourbon also confirmed that the tug boat had sunk. It was reported to have been taking on water in the rear end of the vessel.

A coordinated search and rescue operation is underway involving the French Navy, France’s network of Regional Operational Centers of Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS), the U.S. National Hurricane Center, and nearby commercial vessels who changed their routes to assist.

An emergency beacon indicated that the tug boat hit the outer edge of Hurricane Lorenzo 60 nautical miles from the storm’s eye when communication was lost, the vessel’s operator said.

A Falcon 50 aircraft flown by the French Navy spotted the three crewmen during a flyover.

They were subsequently taken to a commercial vessel where they received medical assistance and are currently under observation.

Bourbon, a service provider for the offshore oil and gas industry, is coordinating search efforts out of the French port city of Marseilles.