USCG inquiry in ‘Bow Mariner’ sinking nears completion

22 November 2004 21:26  [Source: ICIS news]

WASHINGTON (CNI)--The US Coast Guard (USCG) investigation of the Bow Mariner sinking with the loss of 21 crewmen is nearly complete, USGC officials have informed CNI, but the final report faces several more weeks of review at USCG headquarters.


Officials at the USCG Marine Safety Office (MSO) at Hampton Roads, Virginia were in charge of the investigation that seeks the cause of an explosion aboard the 39 821 deadweight tonne (dwt) Bow Mariner on 29 February. The vessel was en route south from the Port of New York and New Jersey, bound for Texas City, Texas. The explosion struck as the vessel was passing some 50 miles off the Virginia coastal town of Chincoteague.


Tank washing operations were under way at the time of the blast, according to reports from six crewmen who survived the blast and sinking.


The Singapore-flagged Odfjell vessel was carrying some 11 000 tonne of ethanol to Texas City, having discharged 20 000 tonne of methyl tertiary butyl ether (MTBE) at New York.


USCG officials declined to characterize or otherwise reveal findings of the MSO’s investigation, but they confirmed that the report is virtually complete and is making its way to USCG headquarters here.


But Coast Guard officials at Hampton Roads cautioned that the USCG headquarters review of the report could take “weeks, even months.” However, the officials also noted that due to the high number of crew casualties in the Bow Mariner disaster, the headquarters review of the report might be accelerated.


Still, the officials said public disclosure of the final investigation report is not likely in what remains of this year.

By: Joe Kamalick
+1 713 525 2653

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