Families and friends of the missing AHTS Bourbon Rhode seafarers, as well as maritime professionals, have started a petition to get active search and rescue (SAR) operations back on track.
Seven Croatian and Ukrainian crew members of the sunken vessel had reportedly boarded life rafts and may be floating somewhere in the Atlantic.
“We believe they are still alive and waiting for a miracle,” the petition initiators stressed.
The move comes after French offshore vessel owner Bourbon said on October 5 that the SAR operations — even with seven more missing sailors that may have survived the sinking — will take place only by vessels in the shipwreck zone.
“Several vessels have continued to survey the search area today (October 5), with no results for the past 4 days. The CROSS has decided to make the search operation evolve. It will regularly disseminate messages to vessels in the shipwreck zone and ask them to carry out adapted watch,” the company said.
The Luxembourg-flagged Bourbon Rhode AHTS sank after it was hit by a category 4 hurricane “Lorenzo”. At the time of the incident, the vessel – crewed by 14 Ukrainian, Russian, South African, Filipino and Croatian seafarers — was in transit some 1,200 nautical miles off the French Martinique island and 60 nautical miles south-south east from the eye of the hurricane in the Atlantic.
Search operations carried out since September 26 by the CROSS French West Indies-Guyana and the French Navy have resulted in finding three survivors of the shipwreck, as well as recovering the bodies of four seafarers. Since October 1, no more survivors or bodies have been found.
On Monday, Bourbon said the three surviving crew members arrived in Fort de France on board the French Navy frigate Ventose. It said all of them were in good health and have been reunited with their families.
The company said the Alp Striker vessel — a 90-meter AHTS capable of operating over very long distances — is still surveying the area to find the missing Croatian Master Dino Miskic and his crewmen.