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Precis File
SHIP NAME: Master Michael KEY: NUM. ENTRIES: 7
source HOOKE
type A
volume 5600T
material No 6 diesel fuel
dead 31
link

While en route from Curacao to Haiti, loaded with 5,600 tons of No 6 diesel fuel [sic], the Cyprus motor tanker Master Michael was abandoned by most of her crew when in the Caribbean Sea following an explosion and fire on board during a storm on January 1, 1979. Five men were subsequently sighted on board the drifting hulk by the motor bulk carrier Ilice, but with seas being too rough to launch a rescue boat, they tried to swin across to the Ilice. Only four managed to do so, the fith man drowning in the heavy seas. The other 30 crewmen remained missing, presumed drowned. According to the survivors, they had leapt into the sea without their life preservers when the blast occurred. The Master Michael drifted away, finally sinking in about lat 15.10N,72.15W on January 2.


source NY Times, 1979-01-03
type A
volume
material
dead 31
link

A Cypriot tanker that caught fire in a storm in the Caribbean Sea yesterday, leaving 30 of its 35 crewmen missing and another known dead, apparently sank late today, the Coast Guard reported.

An air search for the missing men by planes from three countries was suspended at darkness but two merchant ships at the scene continued to hunt through the night for the crew of the Master Michael, an American owned, Cyprus registered tanker.

A Coast Guard spokesman in Miami, Johnnie Long, said a radio message from the Neptune Gardens, a freighter at the scene, reported at 4:15 PM Eastern Standard time that the Master Michael had sunk. Mr Long said an air search by the US Coast Guard and Navy planes as well as Dutch and Jamaican aircraft would resume at dawn. The Neptune Gardens and the tanker, Texaco Brazil Brussels, both continued searching along the course the Master Michael was thought to have followed from the time the fire broke out. Four crewmen from the 350 ft Master Michael leaped into the sea and managed to swim through the 10 ft waves to an Italian tanker Ilici. A fifth man drowned in the attempt and the Coast Guard said the body could not be recovered from the stormy sea, which was whipped by winds of more than 30 miles per hour.

The survivors told rescuers that many of the missing men had leaped into the sea without life jackets. The Coast Guard reported that apparently there was no emergency life raft available aboard the tanker.

The Master Michael, owned by Crossway Navigation Agency of New York, carried 1.8 million gallons of diesel fuel. The ship caught fire halfway between the Dominican Republic and the northern coast of South America, the Coast Guard said.


source Pittsburg Post-Gazette Times, 1979-01-03
type A
volume
material
dead 31
link

Thirty crewmen who jumped from a blazing oil tanker were missing yesterday but four who remained aboard the flaming vessel were rescued, the US Coast Guard reported.

Coast Guard officials, quoting reports from the scene, said the four were rescued after swimming through 10 foot seas to the Ilici, another vessel that happened upon the scene at least 24 hours after the fire erupted about the Master Michael. A 5th crewman who tried to make the hazardous swim yesterday drowned in the attempt, Coast Guard spokesman Dan Dewall said.

Details were sketchy because of communications problems, but the Coast Guard said the Master Michael, a 350 foot Cypriot-registered tanker carrying fuel oil, apparently caught fire about 180 miles south of Haiti sometime between Sunday and Monday morning. The survivors said 30 crewmen jumped off the bow Monday morning at 6 am and five remained aboard Dewell said. They stayed on board until the Ilici arrived yesterday morning.


source ETC
type D
volume 41857B
material diesel
dead
link


source OSIR
type D
volume 1.758MMG
material
dead
link


source ITOPF
type D
volume 6000t
material fuel oil
dead
link


source CTX
type D
volume 5600T
material
dead 31
link

We know next to nothing about this strange casualty despite the 31 dead. We don't even know the cargo. No 6 diesel fuel is an oxymoron. Since the crew was forced off the bow, clearly the cargo was involved in the fire. Ship was undoubtedly not inerted. Beaufort 6-7 is not a lot of weather. Hooke says the owner is Blanche Navigation, Ltd.