Product tanker sinks after being struck by super yacht in Bahamas

Tropic Breeze (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Capt. Chris Knowles)
Tropic Breeze (Photo: MarineTraffic.com/Capt. Chris Knowles)

Miami-based Maritime Management has reported that a ship under its management sank after being struck in its stern by a yacht off New Providence Island in the Bahamas on Friday, December 24.

The Belize-registered product tanker Tropic Breeze was struck at 22:03 local time on Friday by the super yacht Utopia IV approximately 24 kilometres north-northwest of New Providence Island.

Maritime Management said the 48-metre tanker was traveling on its proper watch en route to Great Stirrup Cay when it was rear-ended by the 63-metre yacht. The force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker, causing it to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 610 metres.

The tanker's crew were uninjured but have been rescued and have been safely returned to a company-owned facility on shore by a Good Samaritan vessel.

The ship manager added that the tanker's cargo included LPG, marine gas, and automotive gas, all of which are lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air.

Tropic Breeze was recently inspected earlier this month and was found by authorities to be fully compliant with all national and international safety and vessel integrity standards, Maritime Management added.

It has been determined that, due to the depth of the ocean at the location of the sinking, the tanker cannot be safely salvaged.

Maritime Management said that relevant Bahamian authorities have been notified and that the company is continuing to work with local and international maritime authorities and marine experts to ensure best outcomes with minimal environmental impact.

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