One Dead, Five Sick in Alcohol Poisoning Incident on FPSO in Transit

vanguard alcohol poisoning
Photo courtesy NSRI Durban

A Brazilian contractor has died and six others were hospitalized after drinking a cleaning solution they likely mistook for ingestible alcohol on board an FPSO in transit on Boskalis’ heavy lift ship Vanguard.

Boskalis confirmed the incident in a statement posted today to its website. The company said the six individuals were employed by a designated shipyard contractor and were onboard the FPSO conducting preservation work during Vangaurd’s transit from China to Brazil.

According to the company, the six individuals illegally consumed a cleaning solution they had found on the FPSO, which presumably contained a mixture of ethanol and severely toxic methanol.

The affected individuals reported drinking the substance about 36 hours after consuming it, at which point they were already severely ill, the company said.

The Vanguard changed course towards South Africa and a medical evacuation by helicopter was arranged. Unfortunately, one of the individuals passed away before medical assistance arrived, while the five remaining individuals were evacuated and hospitalized in Durban, South Africa, where they are recovering, the company said.

The body of the deceased victim is being kept on board the FPSO at the request of the Captain, South Africa’s National Sea Rescue Institute said.

“Boskalis expresses its deepest condolences to the family and loved ones of the deceased person,” Boskalis said in a statement.

“Boskalis would like to stress that it has a strict zero tolerance policy with regard to alcohol on its offshore vessels. The FPSO and Vanguard have recently resumed their journey to Brazil,” the company added.