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Total Vessel and Nigerian Navy collide - One man missing

A Nigerian Navy vessel, NNS Thunder, collided with a vessel owned by Total at approximately 15:00hrs yesterday, Tuesday. the incident happened approximately 5 miles up river from Bonny.

The Total vessel capsized.

One man - a member of the Navy - is reported missing in this incident.

Another vessel belonging to Bourbon was first on the scene and secured the Total vessel to its side.

Search aircraft and other support vessels were immediately dispatched

The search was ongoing until 22:00hrs last night and resumed at first light this morning.

Sources close to the emergency response teams are reporting that the Navy appear to have been at fault and were responsible for the impact which left the Total vessel on its side.

Divers cut a hole in the hull freeing one crew member trapped onboard.

The stricken vessel is a small patrol craft owned by Total but crewed and operated by a well company which operates many supply boats and other craft in the region (Company name withheld).

Oyibos OnLine sources state that it is normal to have Navy personnel carried on board these boats but no information confirming their presence on this vessel has yet been received.

The Nigerian Navy has issued no statements at the time of filing this report.

Flashback: The NNS Thunder is a former United States Coast Guard Cutter (CGC) CHASE, and was christened NNS THUNDER F90 by the Nigerian Navy at a colorful ceremony held last May at the Coast Guard Island in Alameda, California.

Nigeria spent about US$ 8 million to refurbish the sensitive equipment and entire control system. It arrived in Nigeria for full active duty in January 2012.

Read more on the Navy's recent acquisition in the OOL Archives here.

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