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Tragedy at sea : Tugboat Franco sank on the border between the Italian and Croatian SAR waters

Tragedy at sea tonight off the coast of Bari: the tugboat Franco P, a 1973 unit owned by the Ancona-based company Ilma (Impresa Lavori Marittima Ancona), headed by entrepreneurs Antonio Santini, sank on the border between the Italian and Croatian SAR waters and Gabriele Pelliccia and specializes in interventions and maritime works

The unit which left Ancona was on its way to Albania, where it was towing the pontoon AD3. The sinking was due to bad weather conditions. According to what has been reported so far by the press agencies, 5 people are missing, all members of the crew of the tugboat; instead rescued the commander aboard a lifeboat and taken from the Croatian ship Split.

The pontoon, which would have onboard a number of people between 9 and 11 depending on the versions of the news released so far, would be safe – having been detached from the Franco P before the sinking – but still adrift.

You also spot the lifeboats but there were none inside. Research is continuing on the part of the military of the Capitaneria, with the use of helicopters and the collaboration of Croatian colleagues.

A note from the Italian Coast Guard specifies that “searches are underway for four Italian seamen and one Tunisian lost at sea about 50 miles across the port of Bari, where adverse weather and sea conditions currently persist”.

The Bari Coast Guard is coordinating the military and civil vehicles involved in the research: five merchant vessels, as well as various units of the Coast Guard and the Guardia di Finanza.

The research also involved aircraft from the Navy, the Air Force, and the Croatian Air Force. A “Manta” plane of the Italian Coast Guard is flying over the area in search of the missing.

At the moment the pontoon is adrift with 11 people on board and to its rescue, it is directing another tugboat

Tug BOB FRANCO is currently located at ALASKA – Gulf of Alaska at position 60° 38′ 17.6″ N, 151° 24′ 15.5″ Was reported by MarineTraffic Terrestrial Automatic Identification System on 2022-05-19 10:41 UTC (2 minutes ago)
The wind in this area at that time blows from West direction at force 1 Beaufort.
BOB FRANCO (IMO: 9637820) is a Tug that was built in 2013 (9 years ago) and is sailing under the flag of USA.
Its carrying capacity is 569 t DWT and her current draught is reported to be 5.5 meters. Her length overall (LOA) is 36.58 meters and her width is 10.67 meters.
The vessel departed from NIKISKI, US on 2022-05-16 at 16:52 LT (UTC -8) and is currently sailing at 6.5 knots in the South direction
Sources: Shipping Italy+ Marine Traffic

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