Sailor Goes Missing from Cuban Tanker Heading Towards Venezuela

3 mins read  Sealuminati TeamMay 15, 2021

Sailor Rafael Desiderio Martinez Alonso, a crew member of the Cuba-flagged oil tanker, went missing this week. This Cyprus-registered Caroil Transport Marine Ltd. operated Cuban taker named Petion, before the incident happened, was destined to reach Venezuela (Cardon Terminal, West Coast) from the Mexican Shipyard ( Veracruz Port). A Cuban seafarer was found dead earlier in the same Cuban oil tanker. This is the second similar incident that took place on Petion.

The body of the missing sailor, dead or alive, has still not been found. According to an onboard doctor of the oil tanker, Martinez Alonso was also reported missing on the previous Sunday, just two days after the vessel left the shores of the Mexican Shipyard on May 6 (Thursday).

Martinez Alonso’s shoes were found near the gas plant of the ship. Nobody knows since when it was there, but the ship authorities are suspecting the presence of the sailor overboard. The gathered information and the suspected claims were directed to the Venezuelan port authorities, demanding some rescue operations. Several days have passed since the mishappening, but the body is still expected to be in the water.

In reference to the onboard crew, the May 11th report claims that the ship started the search and rescue mission the moment the general alarm of Petion went buzzing. Even after continuous 24 hours of immense search, the body was not found. Martinez Alonso, being a tanker’s fitter, is believed to have fallen into the open waters. Martinez Alonso's nationality was not included in the survey. However, all Cuban crews are popular on Cuban-flagged ships. Though there are no hopes of finding him anymore, he is still to be declared dead officially.

The Cuban tanker had a halt for 18 hours near the Cayman Islands in the Caribbean on Monday. Where it underwent a status change, the status was changed from "underway using engine" to "not under order" during this period. According to Refinitv Eikon (Tanker Monitoring firm), Petion again stated its voyage on Tuesday and continued the journey towards Venezuela.

Venezuela's oil ministry and Cuba's foreign ministry did not immediately reply to requests for comment. It continued its voyage to Venezuela on Tuesday, according to Refinitiv Eikon tanker monitoring data. The tanker and its Cyprus based managing firm Caroil Transport Marine Ltd have been under US sanctions from 2019 for illegal transport of Venezuelan oil to Cuba. Caroil could not be reached for comment.

In the previous year's incident involving this Cuba-flagged vessel, a Cuban sailor was reported dead. It happened when the ship was anchored near the Amuay port of Venezuela. People who were familiar with the accident stated that the helmsman fell overboard and died.

According to two sources familiar with the crash In March, a different tanker, the Cameroon-flagged Domani, arrived in Venezuelan waters with a dead crew member aboard. Domani, the tanker, had confirmed the death as a suicide and two sources aware of the incident confirmed the same.