On the evening of Wednesday 18th May, 2022 the 1978 built tugboat FRANCO P issued a distress call while she was towing the crane barge AD 3 sparking a rescue mission and request for aid assistance from all vessels in the area.
The search for the seamen – 4 Italians (2 from Puglia & 2 from Marche) and 1 Tunisian led to the recovery of four bodies, and the identification at sea of another one which is currently being recovered,” said the Italian coastguard (Guardia Costiera) in a statement. The 63 year old tugboat’s captain Giuseppe Petralia (Hospitalised at the Di Venere hospital in Bari)was rescued from the water alive overnight from the 11 seafarers manning the 59 metres crane barge that was being towed by FRANCO P. The towage left Ancona and was heading to Porto Romano at Durres, Albania.
FRANCO P used to be known as CETTA with the Maltese Company TUG MALTA from 1980 to 1998.
The 59 metre crane barge AD 3 is currently being towed back to Ancona by the 1992 built 31 metre Italian tugboat PAUL of which are on the way to Bari.
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Published – Thursday 19th May, 2022.