Chem Tanker Explodes Off Virginia

Monday, March 01, 2004
On Saturday, February 28, the 570-ft. chemical tanker Bow Mariner apparently caught fire and exploded about 50 miles off the coast off Chincoteague, Virginia. As of Monday, March 1, only nine of the 27 crew have been accounted for; six alive and three dead, while it appears that the search for the remaining 18 crew members will be called off. The tanker was carrying a reported 3.5 million gallons of industrial grade ethanol, and an estimated 193,000 gallons of bunker fuel. It exploded shortly after 6 p.m. and sank at approximately 7:30 p.m. The Singapore-flagged was owned by Odfjell and operated by Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises Ltd. in Greece. It was transiting from New York to Houston with 24 Filipino and three Greek crewmembers. The 39,821-dwt Bow Mariner was built in 1982, and 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.The Bow Mariner is a Singapore-flagged vessel that was transiting from New York to Houston. It sank in international waters. Any pollution effects from this incident will be accessed after daybreak.

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