Possible Flare Spotted in Search for Bourbon Rhode Crew

Mike Schuler
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October 8, 2019

ALP Striker. File Photo

Crew members on board the ALP Striker reported seeing possible distress flares in the search for missing crew members from the Bourbon Rhode in the central Atlantic.

Bourbon has now confirmed the sighting that was first reported by French media.

According to Bourbon, two seafarers on board the ALP Striker reported seeing signals that they thought could potentially be a distress flare.

The vessel immediately set a course for the area, coordinating with the CROSS Antilles-Guyane. The CROSS also called on 3 additional commercial vessels to change course and head to the area, while a U.S. Coast Guard Hercules C-130 was called to do a flyover. 

Unfortunately, the search delivered no result.

The search for the Bourbon Rhode crew has been on-going since the offshore tug sank in the Atlantic Ocean on September 26. Among the fourteen crew on board, three people were rescued, four have been recovered deceased, and seven remain missing.

The search initially involved several commercial vessels, a French Navy frigate equipped with a helicopter, and multiple French and U.S. aircraft, but the active search was wound down last Friday.

Currently only the ALP Striker remains on scene. 

Despite news that the latest search has come up empty, news of the flares has reinforced calls for the search to continue.

Family members of the missing seafarers have started a GoGetFunding page to raise funds to continue the search. The page has set a goal of 300,000 euros. As of writing this, the page has raised over 33,000 euros.

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