The National Fisheries and Aquaculture Authority has disclosed that a Liberian licensed French tuna fishing vessel ‘AvelVor’ has sunk some 180 nautical miles off Liberia’s coast last week.
The vessel was on its way sailing to fishing grounds when, in the evening of October 27, it struck an unidentified underwater object.
The NaFAA release mentioned that 23 crew members, including ten Frenchmen and a fishery observer, were saved by three other Tuna Vessels.According to a NaFAA press release, the hull of the vessel was breached, thereby enabling water to flood the engine room. The ship’s pumps became incapable of controlling water ingress; as a result, the Captain ordered his 23 crew members to abandon the vessel.
The entry report received by the Fisheries Monitoring Center (FMC) of NaFAA further disclosed that 20,000 kg of Tuna and Tuna-like species were on board the French Tuna Vessel.
It is recalled that the AvelVor experienced a leakage in the night of October 27, 2019 in the Gulf of Guinea, 315 kilometers off the coast of Liberia, following a water ingress in the engine room which could not be brought under control.The NaFAA release further stated that three days after the vessel had sailed from Abidjan and was headed towards its fishing ground, some crew members heard a sound on the hull that could be a shock to an unidentified floating object.
The bilge alarm of the engine room was triggered, and it flooded rapidly, so that the pumps could not cope with the incoming water, leading the Capitan to have ordered abandonment of the vessel.All day long on October 28, 2019, tug with additional pumps and a diver team was awaited eagerly, while the AvelVor continued to sink slowly.
In the early morning of October 29,2019, it disappeared from the radar. Another tuna fishing vessel “Pendruc” remained in the area with part of the crew. At daylight there was no trace of the ship. The Pendruc recovered floating objects that could be dangerous for navigation.
Meanwhile, analysis done at the Liberia Fisheries Monitoring Center established that the vessel entered the Liberian Exclusive Economic Zone on October 26, 2019 at 23:09:32 UTC at this position Lat. 2° 8′ 46″ N.-Press release