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Tanker Deaths Still Under Investigation
January 7, 2011 by bernews · 2 Comments
The Bahamian press reports that the two bodies retrieved from the Aegean Angel are expected to be handed over to Greek authorities by next week once Bahamian police have conducted their preliminary inquiries.
Following the two tragic deaths aboard the boat, a Cypriot national was brought to Bermuda five days ago via a US Coast Guard helicopter. He is resting on a general ward at King Edward Memorial Hospital, and listed as ’stable’ as of 4:30pm today [Jan 7]. The Cypriot press previously reported that his father planned to fly to Bermuda to be with his son.
He, along with two others, went on deck to check the ship’s condition after going through severe weather and were hit by a large wave.
The ship’s Captain Demetrios Bozonis and First Engineer Athanasios Papageorgiou, both from Greece, were tragically killed in the incident which occurred on December 30, 2010.
Freeport News quotes a Bahamian police officer as saying it is unclear whether an autopsy of the two bodies which were taken to the morgue, will be conducted at this point. He noted that after the bodies were retrieved from the tanker, the vessel was free to continue on its journey. The vessel reportedly re-mained in waters off Grand Bahama until late yesterday. They also state that the duty officer said that the crew would have preserved the bodies of the deceased until they came into port.
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Crew members killed after tanker struck by large wave
Published On:Friday, January 07, 2011
By DENISE MAYCOCK
Tribune Freeport Reporter
FREEPORT - The bodies of two dead crewmen - reportedly senior officers - have been removed from the Greek-registered fuel tanker Aegean Angel which was brought to Grand Bahama after being struck by a large wave in the North Atlantic.
While local police could not confirm the identities of the victims, it has been claimed the ship's captain and chief engineer were killed and a third man was severely injured when the rogue wave crashed into the vessel.
Informed sources told The Tribune that despite rumours that the men were killed as a result of a mutiny, foul play is not suspected.
The ship, which is docked in Freeport carrying 130,000 metric tons of fuel oil, was en route to the Gulf of Mexico from Estonia when it encountered bad weather near Bermuda on December 29.
Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Quinn McCartney told The Tribune that the identities of the deceased are being withheld, but confirmed they were Greek nationals.
Because the incident occurred in international waters and the vessel is a Greek-registered ship, Mr McCartney said, Bahamian authorities do not have jurisdiction over the investigations.
"We are in contact with a representative from the Greek Consulate and the shipping company who have their legal representative on Grand Bahama working to process the situation and we are assisting as much as we can," said the police chief.
"We are not investigating this matter, our role in this is to facilitate and we are assisting them in getting the bodies prepared and flown back to Greece," he said.
The fuel tanker was said to have been about 800 miles northeast of Bermuda when it encountered adverse weather conditions.
After the weather subsided, crew members reportedly went out to inspect the ship for damage and found the bodies and the injured man, who the US Coast Guard airlifted the to Bermuda for medical assistance on January 2.
However due to lingering bad weather, the boat could not be taken to Bermuda.
"Substitute crew members were brought in by aircraft and the ship continued to the closest port, which is Grand Bahama, so the bodies could be taken off the ship," he said.
The Aegean Angel was en route from Tallia, Estonia. It was expected in Bermuda about January 3, and was then to continue sailing to the Gulf of Mexico, arriving in Houston, Texas, on January 7 or 8.
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Tanker deaths still under investigation
By GENEA NOEL
FN Senior Reporter
The two bodies retrieved from a foreign merchant vessel are expected to be handed over to Greek authorities by next week once local police have conducted their preliminary investigations.
According to Senior Assistant Commissioner of Police Quinn McCartney, it is unclear whether an autopsy of the two bodies which were taken to the morgue, will be conducted at this point.
He noted that after the bodies were retrieved from the tanker, the vessel was free to continue on its journey.
The Greek-flagged Aegean Angel was en route from Tallinn, Estonia to Houston, Texas when it ran into bad weather, including gale force eight winds, about 800 miles northeast of Bermuda.
The Duty Officer at the Bermuda Maritime Opera-tions Centre reported to The Freeport News that they were made aware of the situation on December 30, 2010.
"The Greek agent for the vessel called into Bermuda officials and advised that the chief officer on-board had sustained multiple serious injuries after a heavy sea had washed over the bow of the boat. Later on it transpired that the captain and chief engineer were killed outright in the same incident so there were two deceased on board and one seriously injured," the duty officer reported.
"The Greek agents were requesting urgent evacuation of the injured chief officer. He had leg, torso, chest and face injures... On January 2 the U.S. Coastguard helicopter, which had flown from the mainland through Bermuda for refuelling and then out to the ship about 200 miles east north east of Bermuda, were able to retrieve the injured crew member."
The duty officer said that they were unable to get a total crew count, but noted that it was a 900 foot long super tanker that would have required a vast amount of crewmen.
The vessel reportedly re-mained in waters off Grand Bahama until late yesterday.
The duty officer said that the crew would have preserved the bodies of the deceased until they came into port.
McCartney later reported that because it was a Greek registered vessel and the fact that the incident did not occur in Bahamian waters, local authorities did not have any direct jurisdiction.
"We are however obligated to assist the home state of the vessel. At this time we are not conducting the investigation, but providing assistance to the Greek authorities for any further investigation that they may deem necessary."