At 1145 on September 13, the crew of the BP-operated tanker, British Cormorant was carrying out a drill with the rescue boat when one of the lines snapped injuring three crewmen on the ship and causing the rescue boat to capsize which deposited the six crewmen into the water.
The Coastguard rescue helicopter from Lee on Solent was scrambled and recovered six crewmen from the water and landed them at Bembridge on the Isle of Wight. The helicopter then recovered a crewman to Queen Alexandra Hospital, Portsmouth with suspected spinal injuries from the ship.
The helicopter has undertaken a further visit to the ship and evacuated a further crewman to hospital.
The Bembridge RNLI lifeboat was requested to launch to recover the ship’s rescue boat, which has now been recovered for inspection.
The British Cormorant is at anchor at the Nab anchorage waiting to berth to discharge it’s cargo.
Lucy Tanner, Watch Manager, Solent Coastguard says: “The Coastguard rescue helicopter provided a swift recovery to the six crewmen in the water.
Fortunately all were wearing lifejackets which ensured that they all remained afloat and visible to the aircraft crew.”
Australia’s Transport Safety Board is carrying out an investigation into a similar incident which resulted in a fatality aboard LNG carrier British Sapphire, also operated by BP, on 16 May this year.