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Product tanker registered in Belize sinks near the Bahamas after being hit by super yacht

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Posted: Monday, December 27, 2021. 9:59 pm CST.

Photo Credit: The Maritime Executive

By Benjamin Flowers: A product tanker registered in Belize sank shortly after leaving port in the Bahamas on Christmas Eve, after it collided with a 207-foot super yacht,” according to the Maritime Executive.

The 32-year-old 160-foot tanker named M/T Tropic Breeze set out from New Providence Island in the Bahamas on December 24 enroute to Great Stirrup Caye in the Bahamas carrying cargo including non-persistent materials, LPG, Marine Gas, and automotive gas. The vessel was approximately 15 miles northwest of New Providence around 10:00 p.m. local time, when it was reportedly “rear ended” by the super yacht Utopia IV, an aluminum hull charter yacht operating out of the Bahamas and Florida.

Maritime Management reported that the tanker was “traveling on its proper watch when it was rear-ended”. The report went on to say that “The catastrophic force of the collision pierced the stern of the tanker causing the tanker to sink to the ocean floor at an estimated depth of 2,000 feet”.

The yacht, which accommodates 12 passengers and normally has a crew of 13, is equipped with engines and hydro jets capable of reaching a top speed of 33 knots. It is unknown at this time what speed it was traveling at when it hit the Tropic Breeze. Bahamian authorities and another motor yacht, the M/Y Maya, responded to the distress call of the tanker following the incident and managed to rescue the crew members.

The Operators said that the tanker sank to a depth that made it unsafe to salvage, but noted that the fuel cargo is all “lighter than water and will evaporate if exposed to surface air”.

The incident is under investigation by Bahamian authorities.

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