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HomeNewsRegional NewsBahamian authorities probing collision at sea resulting in gas tanker sinking

Bahamian authorities probing collision at sea resulting in gas tanker sinking

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NASSAU, Bahamas (CMC) – The office of the Attorney General in the Bahamas has been consulted for legal guidance after a gas tanker which was “rear-ended” by a 207-foot superyacht, sank off the coast of New Providence last Friday, according to a statement issued by the Ministry of Transport and Housing.

“The Port Department has begun a formal investigation into the incident, and the Department of Environmental Health is also conducting a review of the environmental impact. These activities are currently underway,” the ministry said.

A statement issued by Maritime Management LLC, which managed the ship M/T Tropic Breeze, said the vessel was struck at 10:03 pm on Christmas Eve by the M/Y Utopia IV approximately 15 miles NNW of New Providence.

Maritime Management said the 160-foot tanker was travelling on its proper watch en route to Great Stirrup Cay when it was rear-ended by the 207-foot superyacht.

“The catastrophic force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 2,000 feet,” the company said.

Media reports in Guyana said two Guyanese nationals, identified as chief engineer Colin Ward and Joshua Campbell, were evacuated from the fuel tanker and that all crew members were also rescued.

The statement added that the vessel, which is registered in Belize, was recently inspected in December of this year “and was found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards.”

“Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged,” the company said.

The US$51 million superyacht, Utopia IV, had been designed and built by Italy’s Rossinavi in 2018. The Italian designers report that the vessel is fitted with four light Rolls Royce engines as well as four hydro jets that provide it with a top speed of 33 knots and an average cruising speed of 26 knots. It is unclear what the speed of the yacht was at the time of the collision.

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