Bourbon Rhode ship owner vows to continue search operation

Bourbon Rhode ship owner vows to continue search operation

The owner of the Bourbon Rhode, a ship with Ukrainians aboard that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in late September, has promised not to stop the search and rescue operation and to provide full support to the families of the rescued, deceased and missing sailors, most of them Ukrainians. 

The CEO of the marine services company Bourbon, Gael Bodenes, said this in a statement made available to Ukrinform.

"Our focus as a company is both the search and rescue operations and also supporting the crewmembers' families in any way we can, through this ordeal," the statement reads.

It notes that the ship's owner is in close contact with the families of the sailors.

"We are, unfortunately, today on the 14th day of search since the boat sank, faced with this powerful hurricane Lorenzo," Bodenes said.

Bourbon expressed deep condolences to the families of four victims of the tragedy, as well as to seven missing persons, six of whom are Ukrainians.

"The solidarity of the maritime world is a key support in this difficult period," Bodenes said.

He also added that "the search operations are led by France's Regional Operational Center of Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) of West Indies-Guyana, with the help of French navy and the full support of BOURBON company."

The CROSS has been leading an effort on a very large scale to coordinate up to 12 vessels in a zone of 10,000 square kilometers for searches, alongside French and U.S. airplanes which made ten search overflights. The operations have involved satellite research, a Falcon aircraft and a Panther helicopter on the French side and a Hercules aircraft from the American National Hurricane Center (NHC).

The statement also notes that according to the CROSS director, it is probably one of the largest sea rescue operations ever deployed in the mid-Atlantic.

"A great solidarity of seafarers is also to be highlighted. Many commercial vessels Masters have volunteered to have their vessel assist the SAR operation. We are doing our utmost and supporting the search coordinated by the CROSS and the French authorities despite our understanding that “after 11 days of search operations, the survival time of a man overboard, even equipped, is largely exceeded,” as mentioned by the CROSS director," the statement reads.

On October 7, Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky asked French President Emmanuel Macron to continue the search and rescue operation for six missing citizens of Ukraine - crewmembers of the Bourbon Rhode, a ship that sank in the Atlantic Ocean in late September.

The Bourbon Rhode, with 14 crewmembers on board, sank on September 28 during a storm in the Atlantic Ocean. Three crewmembers, including two Ukrainians, were rescued.


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