A 750 dwt product tanker sank Christmas Eve after reportedly being rear-ended by a super yacht when en route to Norwegian Cruise Line Holding’s private island in the Bahamas, Great Stirrup Cay.
Miami, Fla., based Maritime Management LLC, the manager of the Belize-flagged Tropic Breeze, says that the 1989-built vessel was struck at 22:03 p.m., December 24 by the super yacht approximately 15 miles NNW of New Providence Island, the Bahamas.
“The 160-foot tanker was traveling on its proper watch en route to Great Stirrup Cay when it was rear-ended by the 207-foot super yacht,” said Maritime Management. “The catastrophic force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 2000 feet.
“Fortunately, the crew of the Tropic Breeze were uninjured, have been rescued and safely returned to a company-owned facility on shore.
“The tanker’s cargo included all non-persistent materials – LPG, Marine Gas and automotive gas – all of which are lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air. The Tropic Breeze, sailing under the flag of Belize was recently inspected in December of this year and was found by the authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards.
“Due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, it has been determined that the tanker cannot be safely salvaged.
“Relevant Bahamian authorities have been notified and Maritime Management continues to work with local and international maritime authorities and marine experts to ensure best outcomes with minimal environmental impact.
“Maritime Management has expressed its sincere gratitude to Bahamian authorities for their support and assistance throughout this incident and are particularly grateful to the crew of the M/Y Mara who responded to the Tropic Breeze’s distress call and rescued all seven crew members on board the sinking tanker.”