Feed barge accident leaves no survivors in Chile

Published on
May 10, 2019

A barge carrying feed for a subsidiary of Chilean salmon farmer Blumar that sunk this week  southern Chile has been found, but authorities believe none of the three crewmembers survived. 

The Navsur IV barge, owned by a shipping firm on contract for Blumar subsidiary Bluriver, was found on Monday evening, according to statements from the Chilean navy. The barge disappeared the day before in the Seno Skyring, a bay just outside of the city of Punta Arenas.

Chilean naval officials said the barge was found off of the northern coast of Seno Skyring, at a depth of 106 meters. Efforts continue to recover the bodies of the three crew members, according to an update posted to the navy’s twitter account.

Rear Admiral Ronald Baasch told ITV Noticias that due to the depth of the barge and the temperatures of the water, there is no chance that any of the crew survived the accident. The official said he believes that the crew either drowned or perished due to hyperthermia.

In a press statement to Radio Polar, Bluriver said that the firm which owns the ship, Soldasur, informed that the barge sunk on Sunday afternoon. The company said it immediately activated its emergency protocol and informed maritime authorities and collaborated with their efforts to locate the sunken ship.

No cause for the fatal accident has been specified. Authorities are focusing on efforts the refloat the vessel in order to perform a thorough inspection. 

Photo courtesy of Armada de Chile

Reporting from Santiago, Chile

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