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February 29, 2004

Ethanol tanker explodes

The Coast Guard is continuing to search for 18 people from the tanker Bow Mariner.

Nine people are accounted for-- survivors and three dead. The 570-foot tanker carrying industrial ethanol exploded 50 miles off Chincoteague, Va., shortly after 6 p.m. Saturday and sank at approximately 7:30 p.m. Coast Guard aircraft along with a 47-foot motor lifeboat and the Coast Guard Cutters Albacore and Shearwater are on scene looking for survivors.

The Singapore-flagged vessel was transiting from New York to Houston with 24 Filipino and three Greek crewmembers. The vessel was carrying more than 3.5 million gallons of industrial ethanol.

The Bow Mariner is a Singapore-flagged vessel that was transiting from New York to Houston. It sank in international waters.

According to the owners, Bow Mariner was en route from New York to Texas City, with about 11,000 mt Ethanol. Ethanol is a water-soluble alcohol and classified as a MARPOL Appendix 3 cargo. The cargo has low toxidity and its impact on the marine environment is negligible.

Bow Mariner is a 39.821 dwt. product tanker built in Split, in former Yugoslavia in 1982. The vessel is registered in Singapore and classed by Det Norske Veritas (DNV). Bow Mariner is managed by Ceres Hellenic Shipping Enterprises in Greece. The vessel is commercially operated by Odfjell in Bergen, Norway and is owned by Odfjell's subsidiary Odfjell Asia II Pte Ltd, Singapore.

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