A tugboat contracted by oil giant Chevron has sunk off the coast of Nigeria, leaving 12 sailors missing, an official said on Tuesday.
“I can confirm the incident. It was on Sunday morning,” said Corrie van Kessel, a spokeswoman for Sea Trucks Group, which owns West African Ventures Limited, operator of the vessel.
“12 crew members … There is a big rescue operation in progress at the moment,” she added, specifying the 12 missing were the vessel’s entire crew.
She could not confirm the nationalities of the sailors aboard the Jascon 4, which sank some 15 nautical miles off southern Nigeria’s Escravos, the site of a Chevron oil terminal.
Nigeria is Africa’s biggest oil producer, with Chevron among the major operators in the country.
Van Kessel said it was not yet clear what caused the accident. The vessel had been involved in towing operations for a tanker, she said.