This website uses cookies primarily for visitor analytics. Certain pages will ask you to fill in contact details to receive additional information. On these pages you have the option of having the site log your details for future visits. Indicating you want the site to remember your details will place a cookie on your device. To view our full cookie policy, please click here. You can also view it at any time by going to our Contact Us page.

Tugboat explosion kills seven off Qatar

09 May 2012

Seven people were killed in a violent gas explosion and fire on a Danish-owned tug operating in Qatar’s Ras Laffan offshore field on April 29. The crew of the Svitzer tug Al Deebel (438gross tonnes) were carrying out maintenance on a single-point mooring buoy for transferring liquid natural gas into tankers 30 miles from the coast when the explosion occurred in the engine room, a Svitzer spokesman said. 

The Svitzer tug Al Deebel was carrying out maintenance on an LNG mooring buoy when the explosion occurred
The Svitzer tug Al Deebel was carrying out maintenance on an LNG mooring buoy when the explosion occurred

Six of those killed were crew members, and the seventh an employee of a local oil company. A further four crew were injured, with only one of those on board escaping injury, according to website

Four of the dead were Indonesian, one an Indian and the remaining two British, including the vessel’s captain, Pete Jordan.

Twelve rescue vessels helped tackle the blaze on the Panamanian-registered vessel and rescue helicopters helped evacuate the wounded. Despite the explosion and fire on board the tug did not sink and was towed to Ras Laffan port for inspection.

Svitzer has sent several experts to Qatar. They are working closely with local authorities to determine the cause of the accident.

 "It is the worst accident we've ever been hit by. It is deeply tragic, "said Svitzer communications director Jens Mogensen Viby to

According to the Hull and East Riding News, Captain Jordan, an ex-RNLI lifeboat crewman in his native Yorkshire, had received gallantry awards for rescues in the North Sea, including that of the four-man crew of Panamanian freighter Revi, a rescue described as "the most dramatic in modern RNLI history".

After working on tugs in the Humber and with the RNLI at Spurn Point, he joined Svitzer in the Gulf where he worked for three months a year. He was months away from retirement.

Contact Details and Archive...

Print this page | E-mail this page