On August 11, the M/V Odyssea Voyager, a 195-ft. dive support vessel
owned by Odyssea Marine
, Inc., and operated by Odyssea’s North Bank Towing Division, was severely damaged by fire the cause of which is not yet known. Located in West Delta Block 35, the Voyager, in a four-point mooring configuration, was supporting diving operations of Superior Offshore International
, Inc., when flames were noticed in a compartment in the bow section of the vessel. As the crew fought the flames, the fire spread and eventually engulfed the main cabin of the vessel. There were 40 people on board, including 26 passengers and 14 crew members, all of whom abandoned ship, and were brought to safety. Two crew members of Odyssea Marine, Inc., diagnosed with smoke inhalation, were flown by US Coast Guard helicopter to West Jefferson Hospital located in Marrero, Louisiana. Both crew members were treated and released that night.
Despite the damage to the vessel, there were only minor injuries. Nearly 30,000 gallons of fuel oil on board at the time of the fire was a cause for concern. The vessel was recovered with no fuel spill and no danger to the environment. The vessel is now safely docked in Amelia, La.
There are many people and organizations that deserve appreciation and acknowledgement for their efforts during and after this incident. Of particular note, the employees of Odyssea Marine, Inc. gratitude to the following organizations and people that assisted during the fire. Those include:
Superior Offshore International, Inc. as some of its employees on board the Voyager attempted to extinguish the fire. Superior also sent its Gulf Diver V vessel to assist with the incident.
Tidewater Inc. and its crew boat M/V Rapid Runner that was early to the scene to assist with the rescue of passengers and crew and also assist with extinguishing flames
International Boat Rentals Inc. dispatched the M/V International Warrior and the M/V International Scout, both supply vessels to the scene to assist with the rescue and fire.
The United States Coast Guard who assisted with the USCG Cutter Pelican by rescuing passengers and crew and also flying via helicopter two crew members needing medical attention to West Jefferson Hospital.
Offshore Construction Company Allseas, who offered Odyssea’s North Bank Towing tug M/V Thad A to assist with the incident and salvage efforts
Crew members of Odyssea’s North Bank Towing Division tug M/V Thad A particularly Captain John Houser, who offered clothes and essentials to those crew members of the Voyager who remained at sea to monitor the fire. Other crew members included Captain Ray Foret, Engineer Lance Starr and deck crews Dennis Booth and Lawrence Burton.
Crew members of Odyssea’s North Bank Towing Division tug M/V Capt. Frank that assisted with the monitoring of the fire and towing the Voyager safely into port. Of note were the efforts of Captain Gary Hagan and Captain Randy McQuarrie. Also aboard were deck crews Michael Foss and Joshua Borbon.
Crew members of the M/V Odyssea Voyager that worked under pressure to extinguish the fire and move passengers safely from the vessel. Also of note were Captain Luis Diaz, Engineers Rudolph Bodden and Kessel Pineda, and deck crews Marvin Reyes, Miguel Jiminez, and Alan Scott who assisted with the salvage.
Odyssea’s North Bank Towing staff that monitored the fire and assisted with a variety of tasks throughout the weekend up and until the Voyager had been salvaged. Team Members include James Bennett, Shawn Bonvillain, Harold Ganaway, Don Bourgeois, Goldie Vantromp, Judy Kimball, Wayne Martin
, Chuck Denning, Jay Bernard, Wonit Boudreaux, Gerald “Turk” Clements, Bruce Norton and Aaron Thomas. North Bank Towing Captain Craig Herda, vacationing in Mexico, volunteered to fly back to the US to assist as needed.
Of particular thanks goes to Corey Denning, Operations Manager of North Bank Towing, who coordinated the shore based efforts during the fire and also participated in the salvage operations. Special thanks also goes to Gerald “Turk” Clements, appointed Salvage Supervisor of the Voyager, who carefully executed the removal of the vessel’s anchors and brought the vessel safely into port.