Bourbon Rhode, ̶F̶i̶n̶a̶l̶ Flag State Report (Column about interim report released April 15, 2021)


Luxembourg and Liberia are run by the same private company, not shocked on the lack of urgency.

Mariners are disposable. NO one ever goes to jail due to poor maintenance or schedule pressure. But, we all know this

Luxembourg Ship Registry is run by:
Commission for Maritime Affairs
Situated in:
19-21, Boulevard Royal L-2449 Luxembourg
Tel .: +352 2478 4453 Fax: + 352 299 140
e-mail secretariat:


PS> It has the advantage of being an EU register, thus ships registered in Luxembourg has the freedom to operate in all EU countries, incl. in domestic trade.

There was a discussion here when the interim report was released here:

According to the final report there were issues with sat comms, the Bourbon Rhonde may not have gotten some hurricane warnings.

Oh grasshopper, how you don’t understand. Euroflag services, which is owned by YCF, who also owns LISCR, is the manager of the luxembourg flag.

So YCF has the unique ability to move vessels from open registry to an EU based registry.

Every registry answers to a government commission, however some are under a private public partnership.

I have always believed that LISCR LLC was a family owned US Corporation, When did that change?

Yes Euroflag is accredited by the Luxembourg Government to act on their behalf in respect of their ship register. It is a Luxembourg company with its registered HQ there.

I notice that Euroflag, YCF and LISCR all have offices at the same address in Dulles, Va. USA. There are obviously some connections, but who owns who is not entirely clear as far as I can find out(??)

Very murky and secretive, like a lot in the corporate world (not only in Shipping)

This is interesting:

Our initial theory had been that perhaps commercial pressure had been applied by Bourbon to the master to meet a tight on-hire deadline in Georgetown for the new chart, or that the vessel lacked the bunkers to route around the storm.

Fortunately, neither of these theories seems to be true.

Therefore, the captain may not have had accurate weather routing information in the days before the tug encountered the hurricane.

I posted this on another thread just the other day:

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Not trying to be a party pooper, but half the planet had access to know there was bad shit in their path.


Course steady as a rock. No even a hint of an evasive action. By the looks of it you may assume that the captain missed the weather reports or didn’t interpret them correctly.

The article linked to in the OP is about the same interim which has already been discussed here.

Luxembourg’s flag state report on the sinking of the RAmpage 5000 design anchor handling tug Bourbon Rhode on September 26, 2019, was finally issued on April 15, 2021. You can read the full 106 pages here.

This is not a final report, same interim report that was already discussed on this forum. The vessel lost VSAT comms, still had Inmarsat-C

This, from the column is incorrect.

partly because its satellite communications had failed two days out of Las Palmas.

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The evasive action can not be seen because the captain evidently expected the vessel would pass ahead of the system. The graphic doesn’t show the error in the forecast or the error in the assumption wrt how much the vessel’s speed would be reduced by weather.

Those two errors, the forecast error and the assumption wrt vessel speed were additive.

The fact that the hurricane’s speed increased and that its actual track first shifted to the southwest before turning to the northwest, combined with the vessel’s reduce speed due to the loss of propulsion, put the vessel in closer proximity to the hurricane centre than anticipated. The last received AIS position was located almost on the actual track of Lorenzo and near the eyewall of the hurricane,

The analysis shows that based on the forecasts from 24 and 25 September 2019,
both valid for 26 September at 12:00, the vessel would have crossed the predicted hurricane track in front of the hurricane centre and would then have entered the ‘navigable semicircle’of the hurricane. In all events, the Bourbon Rhode would have sailed within the zone of tropical storm force winds.

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From the report:

The three survivors managed to right the life raft in relatively calmer seas when the eye of the storm briefly passed over them.

According to this they actually hit the eye of the hurricane.


Half the planet wasnt on the tug.

We are certainly pals Beer Captain…LOL. If I could see it on the weather channel in my living room, why couldn’t they? Believe me ,I feel terrible whenever these things happen, especially tugs. But in this day and time, I can’t buy into they didn’t know what was ahead of them.

Why did El Faro do the same thing? You can speculate all you want and say things like “I could see it in my living room” but fact of the matter is neither you or I were there. Captain obviously had his reasons, per the report if they hadn’t lost propulsion it appeared as though they would make it in front of it.

Can’t even begin answering your question. Nope, many of us weren’t there, as well as yourself. Common sense did not prevail in either incident. And yes, a debate on here a while back regarding common sense. Can’t speak for you, but my voyage plan was to evade that type of weather on a slow moving vessel., no matter how far I had to travel to avoid it. I am still alive to back that strategy up and so is my crew. Didn’t give a shit what the dispatchers wanted. They weren’t on the vessel either.

Your assumption is wrong.
From the timeline (page 17 of the report), we have these external times for the last hour:
07:34 Loss of propulsion based on FUELTRAX data.
07:50 1st SSAS alarm via Inmarsat-C
08:03 Emergency call via DSC
08:45 “We are sinking” by Inmarsat-C
They didn’t run into the hurricane because they lost propulsion;
they lost propulsion because they were in the core of the hurricane.

To compare El Faro vs. Bourbon Rhode: That is not possible; we do not know what they really knew about the weather and how they decided on the bridge.

With El Faro we read the transcript of the bridge voice recorder and we saw the ship’s data recordings.
Different officers on watch knew perfectly that they were running into the hurricane’s center…


Urs. Absolutely correct sir.

There is speculation in the column linked in the OP that the failure of the VSAT several days before may have contributed.

When the VSAT failed the vessel lost access to the internet so no longer able to view weather information with color graphics and instead would have had to rely upon text only forecast.

This seems at least plausible, likely there was no routine recurring risk analysis done with a hand plot on a paper chart.

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