On Tuesday 14 January, at 3:35 p.m., the Vessel Traffic Service in Houston-Galveston was informed that four people are in the water after the collision of the 81-foot fishing vessel with the 600-foot chemical tanker.
Our chemical tanker Bow Fortune reported that it had made contact with a fishing boat in Galveston Bay entrance. At the time of the incident, Bow Fortune was inbound and under pilotage as first vessel in a convoy. At the time of the incident, there was heavy fog in the area.
... as Odfjell said in a statement.
In respond to the situation, the Coast Guard Sector of Houston-Galevston, published an urgent marine information broadcast and sent two Station Galveston response boat crews to aid in the rescue operation.
Rescuers by a good Samaritan vessel and the RB-M boat crew, managed to pull two of the fishermen from the water. Both of them were immediately transferred to emergency medical services personnel.
Tragically, we have received reports that one of the four crew members onboard the fishing boat has lost his life. We are saddened by this information, and wish to express our heartfelt condolences to his family. We are also deeply concerned about the reports that two of the crew members on the fishing boat are still missing. One crew member is reported rescued.
...the chemical tanker's company stated.
The search of the two missing fishermen is ongoing. USCG along with the Galveston Police Department and multiple good Samaritan vessels, are on a mission to find the two lost fishermen.
Odfjell takes this matter very seriously. Together with the P&I club Gard, we cooperate fully with US authorities to ensure that we initiate all necessary actions.
...Harald Fotland continued.
For the moment, the causes that resulted the collision remain unknown, as they are under investigation. Concluding, "Bow Fortune" is currently moored in Galveston and the crew onboard is safe and accounted for.
Now, the owners of the MT Odfjell Bow Fortune, have asked a Federal court to absolve them of all financial liability associated with the fatal incident.
In fact, Norway-based Odfjell SE filed a motion Friday in response to a federal lawsuit brought by relatives of one of the fishermen involved in the incident. The family accuses Odfjell SE of failing to safely operate its 600-foot tanker.
Specifically, in a lawsuit filed in the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Texas, the family of the fisherman say he was killed because the company neglected to properly inspect and maintain the tanker, and that the crew was not properly supervised or trained.
On their part, the company denies any damages caused by the crash- stressing that it properly maintained the tanker and ensured it was seaworthy at the time of the collision.
The firm representing the family of the fisher, said in a statement that Odfjell SE is relying on a 150-year-old law that was intended to protect vessel owners from risky voyages.
The lawsuit further requests a jury trial and calls for the Bow Fortune to be sold and condemned.
The crash still remains under investigation.