Ten bodies have been recovered during a rescue operation off the coast of Nigeria after a tugboat contracted by Chevron sank on May 26, 2013.
According to Chevron, the Jascon-4 capsized and sank while supporting a tanker loading at SBM 3, a loading point located 30 km off Nigeria.
Operators of the vessel, West African Ventures (owned by Sea Trucks Group), said that at one point rescue operations had to be put on hold momentarily due to safety reasons.
"The vessel, which is located some 30 m under water in an upside-down position, has become so unstable that the risk of injury to our rescue divers has become unacceptably high," the company said in a statement.
In addition to the ten recovered bodies, one of the vessel’s crewmembers is still missing, and one survivor—the cook, Okene Harrison—was rescued by divers.
Jacques Roomans, the CEO of West African Ventures said, “The families of all crew members have been informed of the outcome of the rescue operation and West African Ventures will continue to give all support possible to the families of our deceased and missing colleagues. We extend our deepest sympathy to all of them”.
A full investigation on the cause of the incident has commenced, and West African Ventures said they will continue the search and rescue operation until all crew members are accounted for.
Chevron operates offshore and onshore joint ventures with the Nigerian National Petroleum Corp. and spends about $3 billion a year on its Nigerian operations.