28 February 2004
VESSEL & Interveners
|1 - IMO Number :
|2 - Name of Ship :
|3 - Call Sign :
|4 - Gross Tonnage :
|5 - Type of Ship :
|Chemical/Oil Products Tanker
|6 -Year of Build :
|7 - Flag :
|8 -Status of Ship :
|9 - Registred Owner :
|ODJFELL ASA II
|10 - Address :
6, Shenton Way, Singapore SINGAPORE
|11 - Ship Manager :
|CERES HELLENIC SHIPPING
|12 - Address :
69, Akti Miaouli, Piraeus GREECE
|13 - Classification Society :
|DET NORSKE VERITAS
|14 - P&I
Britannia Steamship insurance Association Ld
|15 - Surveyor :
|16 - Sollicitor :
|17 - Hull Underwriters :
|18 - Cargo Underwriters :
|19 - Others :
|20 - Others :
NB : Information 1 to 14 are extracted from the database EQUASIS. Information are updated at the date of the casualty.
Information from 15 to 20 were found on public websites
|SUMMARY OF THE CASUALTY
The chemical tanker put out a mayday distress call, shortly after 1800 (2300GMT) the 28 Februaray 2004, when it was off Chincoteague in northern Virginia. it blew up (the explosion occurred after a fire started on the ship's deck) and sank one hour and a half later in international waters
|DAY TO DAY
|19 April 2004
Vapors sank tanker, expert says
18 April 2004
'We are on fire!'
'Mayday, mayday, mayday! This is the Bow Mariner, Bow Mariner!'
BY BILL GEROUX
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER Apr 18, 2004
The first Coast Guard rescue helicopter arrived in time for the Bow Mariner's death throes.
The 570-foot tanker, devastated by an explosion and fire, was sinking into a chemical stew of its own escaping cargo. The ship stood nearly vertical in the ocean, 58 miles off the Virginia coast, its stern pointing up into the night sky. Pockets of trapped air were blasting open the ship's watertight hatches and portholes.
"I couldn't believe I was seeing it," said
Petty Officer 2nd Class Ben Bradley, the flight mechanic on the helicopter.
"It was just like 'Titanic,' with the ship yawing up and over and then just
sinking, heading down."
The air reeked of chemical fumes and the water
temperature was a frigid 44 degrees. If any of the men were going to
survive, they would have to be found fast.
11 March 2004
Investigation of tanker accident is at a standstill The NOAA ship Rude found the wreckage of the Bow Mariner in about 250 feet of water.
NORFOLK — An investigation into the explosion and sinking of the tanker Bow Mariner is being hampered by lawyers who refuse to allow investigators to interview survivors, the Coast Guard said. “At this point, we are barely under way,” Jerry Crooks, chief investigator for the Coast Guard’s Marine Safety Office in Norfolk, said Monday of the 10-day-old probe. “Our investigation is stalled.” Six crewmen, all Filipino nationals, survived the tanker’s sinking off the coast of Virginia on Feb. 28. Three crewmen died, and 18 are missing and presumed dead. All of the survivors have retained lawyers, and four of the crewmen have refused to be interviewed by the Coast Guard, electing to invoke what amounts to 5th Amendment rights against self-incrimination, Crooks said. The two who did talk were the cook and his helper, but Crooks said their knowledge about the incident was limited. Norfolk attorney Carter T. Gunn acknowledged Monday that he had been hired by representatives of Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd., the Greek shipping company that manages the Bow Mariner. The ship is owned by Norway-based Odfjell ASA. Gunn declined to discuss the case, referring all questions to Jesse W. Lewis Jr., founder and CEO of Admiralty Associates International, a public-affairs company he said specializes in the “sea transportation industry.” Lewis said the ship’s owners and managers were not impeding the investigation and that the company was providing information requested by the Coast Guard. “The respective owners and manager of the vessel are fully cooperating with the Coast Guard,” Lewis said. “They are working on some procedural issues that we hope are resolved very soon.” Lewis acknowledged that the surviving crewmen have lawyers, but said he did not know if the crewmen or the company had hired them. Crooks said the survivors are being issued subpoenas to appear before an informal Coast Guard hearing in Norfolk on Friday. The Coast Guard also has made a formal request through the State Department not to issue travel documents to the survivors until it is finished with them, Crooks said. The Bow Mariner exploded and sank approximately 58 miles east of Chincoteague. Sonar images show the 570-foot ship is resting upright in 264 feet of water, portions of its steel deck torn off and missing. It had been carrying a partial cargo of 3.5 million gallons of volatile industrial ethanol, 48,000 gallons of stored diesel fuel and 193,000 gallons of fuel oil. The Coast Guard’s investigation into the Bow Mariner’s sinking is being handled on an informal basis for now, meaning it is being conducted in private and not open to the public. Jurisdiction for the investigation of a foreign-flag ship that sinks beyond the three-mile U.S. territorial limit comes from the International Maritime Organization, a United Nations group based in London. The code allows certain states to exert what is called “substantially interested state” status. “We are a substantially interested state,” Crooks said, “because the vessel sank in our exclusive economic zone, there was environmental damage and the ship’s seaworthiness was affected.” While the lead investigating state was Singapore, where the Bow Mariner is flagged, it requested that the Coast Guard take charge. Crooks declined to say what sanctions could be taken against the owners or operators if negligence is found. Lewis said a manifest listing crew members who are dead and missing was being withheld “at the request of the families.” He did provide a list of the survivors and their jobs on the ship: Edimar Aguilar, 2nd engineer; James Bactat, electrician; Dominador Marentes, chief cook; Lugen Ortilano, 3rd officer; Ramon Ronquillo, seaman; and Reynaldo Tagle, messman, or cook’s helper. No ages or home addresses were available. The Bow Mariner was en route from New York, where it had partially unloaded its cargo, and was headed to Houston after picking up the cargo in a foreign port.
Reach Jack Dorsey at 446-2284 or email@example.com
6 March 2004
Bow Mariner met an explosive end, images suggest Large parts of ship's deck are missing; oil recovery suspended By Dave Schleck
Daily Press Published March 6, 2004 Sonar images released Friday show the sunken Bow Mariner with huge chunks missing from the deck, an eerie sign of the violent explosions the ship and its crew experienced before sinking 260 feet into the Atlantic.
obviously had some catastrophic explosions before it sank," said Lt. Todd
Haupt, executive officer of the sonar ship. "There are portions of the deck
and the bow that are missing." Sonar provided a color-coded,
three-dimensional view of the ship, 50 miles off Virginia's Eastern Shore.
The smokestack seems in place on the stern of the 570-foot ship, as does the
jackstaff on the bow, where the Bow Mariner's flag once flew. But most of
the deck is missing from the left and right sides. There appears to be a
break sliced through the deck near the bow, with wreckage piled up on the
seafloor nearby. We do this every day," Haupt said. "And it's amazing to
us." Coast Guard officials would not speculate on what caused the damage,
but a spokesman for the recovery efforts played down the importance of the
sonar images. "They are beautiful," said George Nelson, spokesman for the
shipping company that managed the Bow Mariner. "However, they really don't
show a lot." The sonar ship, the Rude (pronounced Rudy), is a 210-foot
vessel operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. It
routinely searches shipping channels for underwater hazards and
obstructions. The ship uses multibeam sonar affixed to a pole that's put
into the ocean. The sonar sends 240 sound beams into the water in a fan
shape that in this case covered the entire length of the ship. Oil recovery
stopped Friday, as the ship that has been removing small oil slicks about 18
miles east of the wreckage couldn't find any more areas to treat and sought
protection from bad weather forecast for this weekend.
4 March 2004
Salvage ship begins cleaning oil slicks caused by Bow Mariner's sinking
By Dave Schleck
Published March 4, 2004, 10:31 AM EST
For the first time since Saturday's deadly tanker explosion, a salvage ship was able to skim oil off the ocean's surface Wednesday near the sunken Bow Mariner about 50 miles off the coast of Virginia.
Helicopters guided an oil recovery vessel to several tiny oil slicks. Rough seas earlier in the week made recovering the oil impossible. Earlier flyovers found only an unsalvageable sheen of oil spread out in thin sheets over a 9-square-mile area around the wreck.
Coast Guard officials said the amount of oil recovered Wednesday afternoon was minimal, but the salvage ship Virginia Responder and its 16-member crew would continue skimming oil today.
The 210-foot ship surrounded the oil pockets with a floating boom to contain the spill, then used a skimmer to suck oil into a 4,000-barrel tank. An industrial decanter onboard the ship separates the water from the oil.
The Marine Spill Response Corp., one of many companies that are part of the recovery effort, operates the Virginia Responder as part of its fleet of 15 oil spill response vessels nationwide.
It will probably be months before the Coast Guard finds and announces the cause of the Bow Mariner explosion, which left six survivors, three crew members confirmed dead and 18 presumed dead. The ship was carrying 48,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 190,000 gallons of fuel oil and 3.2 million gallons of ethanol. The Coast Guard doesn't know how much spilled.
A sonar ship will try today for a second time to get clear images of the wreck. The Coast Guard is also looking for an available submersible vessel with underwater cameras that can photograph the sunken ship, said Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton.
After looking at the wreckage, it's likely the recovery team will try to remove the remaining diesel fuel and fuel oil from the ship using underwater hoses, said George Nelson, spokesman for the Bow Mariner's managing company - Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises.
"It's almost as likely that they will also remove and recover the ethanol," he said.
Dave Schleck can be reached at 247-7430 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org
3 March 2004
Sunken tanker's images unclear Rough seas disrupt survey ship's sonar By Dave Schleck Daily Press Published March 3, 2004 A survey ship dodging high seas and debris produced only distorted sonar views of the sunken Bow Mariner on Tuesday, three days after an explosion sank the tanker 50 miles off the Eastern Shore, leaving three confirmed dead and 18 presumed dead. The 570-foot ship rests upright about 265 feet below the ocean's surface, with the bow facing the northeast. It appears to be in one piece," said Lt. Cmdr. Tod Schattgen, commanding officer of the Norfolk-based Rude, a 90-foot survey ship with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. The Bow Mariner was heading south from New Jersey to Texas at the time of the accident. But surveyors found the ship facing the opposite direction. Coast Guard officials said they weren't sure why. After the last of six survivors was released from a Norfolk hospital Tuesday afternoon, the Coast Guard waited for the return of Rude, pronounced "Rudy," early this morning. It took nearly 11 hours for the Rude to reach the wreckage site before starting sonar runs at daybreak Tuesday. The same survey ship found John F. Kennedy Jr.'s sunken plane off the Massachusetts coast in 1999 and the TWA flight 800 wreckage off of New York in 1996. Tuesday the small ship had to steer its way around floating, unraveled mooring lines that appear to still be attached to the bow of the sunken ship. Seas were 6 to 8 feet with sustained winds of 35 mph. "It was pretty rough," said Schattgen, speaking from his ship's satellite phone Tuesday evening. "We usually like much calmer water to do our acoustic work." Sidescan sonar emits and collects sound energy from an underwater, torpedo-shaped bell that is towed behind the survey ship. It scans the bottom for shipwrecks and navigational hazards, producing black and white images. The darker images, produced by stronger sound waves, show protrusions on the ocean's floor. Rough seas disrupted the sonar's tow craft, which distorted the images so badly that Schattgen couldn't really decipher anything about damage to the ship. Coast Guard investigators hope sonar will help them determine the cause of the accident and whether the damage makes it necessary to pump out any remaining oil in the ship. On the surface, Schattgen found no signs of dead marine life, despite an oil sheen that covered the area. The Coast Guard has an oil recovery vessel at the wreckage site and may conduct a fly-over today to decide whether the oil pockets have cooled off enough to salvage, said Chief Petty Officer Steve Carleton. The ship was carrying 48,000 gallons of diesel fuel, 190,000 gallons of fuel oil and 3.2 million gallons of ethanol - a water-soluble fuel derived from corn, wheat or barley. Carleton said the oil is moving away from shore, much of it in small pools that range from coin-sized to 4 feet wide."Any oil that's coming out is coming out at a slow enough pace that it's breaking up and heading out to sea," Carleton said.
Dave Schleck can be reached at 247-7430 or by e-mail at email@example.com
2 March 2004
Search ends for 18 missing in blast
21 apparently killed when vessel exploded and sank off Virginia
BY BILL GEROUX
TIMES-DISPATCH STAFF WRITER
Tuesday, March 2, 2004
PORTSMOUTH - The Coast Guard stopped searching yesterday for 18 missing crew members of the chemical tanker Bow Mariner, which exploded and sank Saturday evening off the coast of Chincoteague.The last of the six survivors of the sinking was to be released from a Norfolk hospital today. The end of the search apparently brings the toll to 21 lives, counting three crew members who have been confirmed dead. That would make the Bow Mariner explosion and sinking the region's worst maritime disaster since Feb. 12, 1983, when the collier Marine Electric went down in a storm off Chincoteague and 31 lives were lost.Yesterday, a lone Coast Guard C-130 Hercules plane spent the morning hours on a final search for the missing crewmen of the Bow Mariner before Rear Adm. Sally Brice-O'Hara, commander of the Coast Guard's mid-Atlantic region, ended the search at 1 p.m."The decision to call off a search when there are still people missing is one of the most difficult decisions I have to make," Brice-O'Hara said in a statement. "It is my sincere hope the friends and family know we did everything in our power to find their loved ones." The Coast Guard said its crews searched 30 grid patterns covering roughly 70 square miles over parts of three days, expending more than 3,500 man-hours.Authorities continued to withhold the names of the dead and missing yesterday, saying they still had not contacted all of the next of kin. The Bow Mariner's crew included 24 Filipinos and three Greeks, the ship's senior officers. All six survivors were Filipinos, who apparently were below decks in their berths shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday when a huge explosion rocked the ship. Coast Guard officials said the survivors made their way to the main deck and into a large life raft, where they huddled, shivering and coated with black bunker oil, until a rescue helicopter picked them up.None of the survivors were burned, but all suffered some combination of hypothermia and exposure to noxious fumes from the ship's fuel and its cargo of ethanol, said a spokeswoman for Sentara Norfolk General Hospital, where the men were taken. Three of the six were released from the hospital on Sunday morning. Two others left yesterday, and the last was to be released this morning. All have declined to speak to reporters. The 570-foot Bow Mariner was a Singapore-flagged vessel owned by the Norwegian firm Odfjell and operated by the Greek company Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd. It sank in international waters, but authorities in Singapore have asked the Coast Guard to lead the investigation. The Bow Mariner was carrying 3.5 million gallons of crude industrial ethanol, a form of fuel and gasoline additive that can be used as a solvent in the manufacture of varnishes and perfumes. It is highly flammable, and its vapor can produce explosive mixtures with air. Jan Hammer, a senior vice president of Odfjell, said Sunday that the vessel's tanks were partly empty but were equipped with valves to relieve pressure from evaporating alcohol. Four of the tanker's crew were apparently working on deck when the blast occurred, the Coast Guard said, but it was not certain what tasks they were performing. Investigators are examining the debris collected from the wreck site and the available information about the Bow Mariner and explosions that have wrecked similar vessels, said George Nelson, a spokesman for the Unified Command, an interagency group convened by the Coast Guard to deal with the disaster.The Unified Command includes the Coast Guard Captain of the Port, Virginia and Maryland environmental officials, and representatives of the vessel's owners and managers. Nelson said investigators have interviewed at least one of the survivors. He said they have not decided whether to send divers to search for clues in the wreckage, which rests at a depth of about 264 feet, roughly 50 miles off Chincoteague. The Coast Guard will release its findings in a report, possibly after a public inquiry, Nelson said. The disaster appears to pose no serious environmental consequences, he said. The Virginia Responder, an oil-cleanup vessel, spent yesterday searching the wreck site in vain for a concentration of fuel oil significant enough to clean up. A northwest wind and wave action has been pushing what remains of the spilled oil out to sea. The ethanol is dissolving quickly in the ocean, Nelson said.
Contact Bill Geroux at (757) 625-1358 or firstname.lastname@example.org
29 February 2004
Press Release Source: Odfjell
UPDATE - Tragic Loss of Bow Mariner
Sunday February 29, 1:53 pm ET
OSLO, Norway, Feb. 29 /PRNewswire/ -- Odfjell
is deeply saddened that lives were lost when BOW MARINER sank in
international waters outside the coast of Virginia last night.
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.
Press contact Odfjell: Jan Hammer, phone +47 55 27 00 00
Press contact Ceres: George Papaiounou, phone +30 210 4591005
The Internet home page www.odfjell.com will be updated as further information is available.
Odfjell is a leading company in the global market of transporting and storing of chemicals and related logistical services. The fleet totals 89 ships, trading both globally and regionally, of which 47 is owned by the group. Odfjell additionally owns and operates tank terminals and tank containers.
Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises is managing a wide range of various vessels. Currently the managed fleet is 42 vessels.
29 February 2004
The Odfjell chemical carrier Bow Mariner has sank about 50 nautical miles off the US east coast following a devastating explosion.
At least three crew members are reported dead, six have been rescued and are in hospital, with 18 still missing.
A major rescue operation is taking place in cold waters off the coast of Virginia so the outlook for the missing crew members is bleak.
Bergen based Odfjell said it was “deeply saddened by this tragic accident that has caused loss of life.”
The 27 crew members comprised 24 Filipinos plus Greek master, chief engineer and first officer.
The 40,000-dwt Bow Mariner (built 1982) was sailing from New York to Texas City with a cargo of 11,000 tonnes of ethanol at the time of the explosion.
The cause of the explosion is currently unknown but the sea was calm at the time of the disaster.
The ship sent a mayday message to the US Coast Guard saying there was a fire on deck. An explosion followed, so it could be that the cargo had somehow begun to leak from the vessel’s tanks.
One of the hospitalised crew members is reported to be in a critical condition, two seriously injured while three are well and could be discharged today.
The Split built vessel had a run-in with the US Coast Guard in October when five deficiencies were recorded during a port state control inspection.
These related to defective cargo level alarms, a leak from a deck hydraulic line and the shutdown mechanism for the emergency pumps as well as documentary deficiencies. Classification society confirmation of repair was received in each case.
Odfjell vice president, Jan Hammer, tells TradeWinds the Bow Mariner was vetted by oil company representatives in New York immediately before its final voyage and there were no outstanding recommendations against the vessel.
Hammer rules out any link between the earlier US Coast Guard detected deficiencies and the tragedy.
He said Odfjell hoped to have some insight into the cause of the tragedy once the survivors are interviewed.
The Singapore flag Bow Mariner is classed by Det Norske Veritas and has protection and indemnity cover from the Britannia Club who will pick up the bill for compensating the seafarers families and any pollution or wreck removal operations required.
Odfjell said that ethanol was a water-soluble alcohol and classified as a Marpol appendix three cargo. As such it has low toxicity and a negligible impact on the marine environment.
The Bow Mariner also had more than 700 tonnes of fuel oil in its bunker tanks. This poses a pollution risk although no oil is reported to have yet leaked from the wreck.
The Bow Mariner is owned by a Singapore subsidiary of the Norwegian shipowning group, Odfjell Asia II Pte.
The vessel is insured by underwriters led by the Norwegian Hull Club but is not a particularly valuable ship having a market worth of $10m or less.
The vessel is managed by Piraeus based Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises, the Livanos family company that is Odfjell’s joint venture partner, but commercial operation is carried out by Odfjell from Bergen.
The tragedy comes as two Odfjell top executives, Bjorn Sjaastad and Erik Nilsen are serving time in a Florida jail for contravening US anti-trust laws.
Odfjell also paid a huge $42.5m fine for price fixing with key competitors in the parcel tanker business.
Tradewinds : 29 février 2004
29 février 2004
Le nouvel Observateur
AP 29.02.04 | 07:18
PORTSMOUTH, Virginie (AP) -- Un chimiquier transportant de l'éthanol industriel a explosé et sombré samedi soir à environ 80km au large des côtes de Virginie, selon les gardes-côtes. Au moins trois des 27 membres d'équipage ont été tués et les équipes de secours étaient à la recherche d'autres survivants.
Huit personnes ont été transportées à l'hôpital de Norfolk (Maryland), selon la porte-parole Vicky Gray. Deux d'entre eux sont morts. Parmi les six survivants, un est dans un état critique, deux autres dans un état grave et trois souffrent d'hypothermie.
Trois personnes ont été admises à l'hôpital Atlantic General de Berlin (Maryland), selon Robert Wocubik, de l'accueil des patients, qui a précisé qu'une d'entre elles était morte. Les deux autres ont été soignés pour des blessures légères puis autorisés à quitter l'établissement. Le troisième membre d'équipage décédé a été évacué au centre médical régional de Salisbury (Maryland).
Trois hélicoptères, autant de bateaux des gardes-côtes et un avion C-130, étaient à la recherche de survivants.
Le «Bow Mariner», un tanker de 171m de long battant pavillon de Singapour, avait lancé un appel de détresse à 6h00 locales (23h00 GMT), expliquant qu'une explosion s'était produite à bord, selon le garde-côte de Portsmouth (Virginie) Stacey Pardini. Le navire effectuait la liaison entre New York et Houston avec 24 Philippins et trois Grecs à son bord.
L'explosion s'est produite après un incendie sur le pont du bateau, a déclaré le lieutenant Chris Shaffer, des services d'urgence d'Ocean City (Maryland). «Quand les plongeurs sont arrivés sur les lieux, le chimiquier était en feu, coulait et il y avait plusieurs personnes à l'eau», a-t-il expliqué.
Selon le chef des gardes-côtes, John Moss, le tanker transportait 13,3 millions de litres d'éthanol au moment de l'accident mais qu'il restait encore à évaluer la quantité de produit déversé dans les eaux. L'origine de l'explosion n'était pas encore connue quelques heures après le drame. «Nous n'avons pour l'instant aucune indication prouvant que ce n'était pas un accident», a souligné John Moss. AP
|CAUSE OF THE DAMAGE
NB : All the Information mentioned in this page are extracted from public and free access web sites or papers, magazines, etc. Our sources are mentioned. If any problem, please contact the webmaster.
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NB : All the Information mentioned in this page are extracted from public and free access web sites or papers, magazines, etc. Our sources are mentioned. If any problem, please contact the webmaster. Close the window