The tug, which was en route from Las Palmas in the Canary Islands to Georgetown in Guyana, issued a distress signal last Thursday morning shortly after suffering massive water ingress in the ship’s compartments.
A 63-year-old man from Delft in Cape Town was among the 14 crew who apparently evacuated the ship.
The Ukranian Ministry of Foreign Affairs said the tug apparently sank, and three crew members, including two Ukrainians, were rescued while the fate of the remaining 11 crew members was still unknown. Bourbon, however, revealed that one of the crew members had died.
The three rescued seamen were picked up from the life raft shortly after the tug ran into difficulties. Search and rescue operations are still going on, with at least two more ships having joined the operation co-ordinated by the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre with the deployment of patrol planes.