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Jupiter 6 Mysteriously Vanishes With Crew While Towing Ship

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posted on Oct, 1 2005 @ 11:40 PM
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Jupiter 6 has vanished without a trace with her 12 crew while she was towing a 16 000-ton bulk carrier. The bulk carrier was found drifting like a ghost with her tow wire hanging down into the sea. There was no sign of Jupiter 6 or her crew. Another tug, the Smit Amandla has been sent out to pick up the tow and bring the big ship under control.


Cape Argus: Tug vanishes while towing ship

September 30, 2005


A Tug and her 12 crew have disappeared without trace while towing a big ship to the scrappers' yards in India.

In an incident equal to the most enduring maritime mysteries of all time, the big ship has been found drifting in the Indian Ocean like a ghost, her tow wire hanging down into the sea. There is no sign of the tug or her crew. The tug Jupiter 6 sailed from Walvis Bay at the end of August, towing the 16 000-ton bulk carrier Satsung to India for scrapping.

A South African tug is currently steaming to the big ship to pick up the tow and bring her under control, to prevent her from becoming a danger to shipping, and to search for clues to what really happened. The Smit Amandla had been sent to pick up the tow.

"We will probably send an aircraft to find her again because she would have drifted away from the position supplied by the bulk carrier over the past few days. When we get to her, we hope to find some indication of what might have happened to her and the tug that was towing her."

Please visit the link provided for the complete story.

I´m not sure about the name of the bulk carrier as there are some conflicting reports. The Cape Argus article call her "Satsung" (more than once). But when I checked the webpage of the South African Navy Hydrographic Office (SANHO), I saw that they call her "SAPSAN". I found a bulk carrier called SAPSAN (picture). It´s a russian ship, built in 1991. The Cape Argus could be wrong about the name.




SANHO: Summary of Notices in Force

NAVAREA VII MESSAGES :

111 Indian Ocean - SW Sector - Jupiter 6 towing SAPSAN missing.

COASTAL NAVWARNING MESSAGES :

437 RSA South West Coast - Cape Point - Jupiter 6 towing vessel SAPSAN from Walvis Bay to Alonga/India..

These waters are notorious for shipping disasters. The crew of Jupiter 6 didn´t even radio for help. Maybe the tug were taken by a giant squid? Maybe we will never know what happened, and Jupiter 6 will be yet another name added to the long list of ships that have vanished without a trace.




posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:03 AM
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It's kinda like the philiadelphia experiment in a way. Maybe they were trying it out....whose going to miss a tug?



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:40 AM
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Here is a likely scenario as to what happened to the tug. It is my guess that the tug was,literally, ran over by the ship, which was being hauled to the scrapyard so it obviously was not under power. As a former merchant mariner, we once hauled a ship,600ft in length, that had been converted into a grain barge. Well, a ship behind a tug while being towed is very dangerous. A safe distance to tow is with about 1500- 2000 feet of cable payed out during the tow. If the currents are wacky, the barge can actually pass the tugboat. It happens...and with deadly consequences. A boat can be put on the deck of a ship. And a ship under tow can easily run over the boa pulling it. It was scary when we pulled the ship hull barge to El Salvador from Louisiana, the ship hull was all over the place as we pulled. Also, if the tug lost its engine(s)....a very bad situation to be in.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 09:24 AM
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You'd think that if the ship did run over the tug there'd be some evidence hanging on the end of the tow-rope... Anyone know any details? Or is it just as if it was never attached at all?



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 09:26 AM
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great find hellmutt, how absolutely strange and dare I say spooky. Reminds of those old bermuda triangle stories.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 10:10 AM
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Looks like the news media mispelled the bulk carrier's name.

Indian Ocean - SW Sector - Jupiter 6 towing SAPSAN missing.
www.sanho.co.za...

Looks like they pulled that tug out of salvage.

Jupiter 6

Coloured Fin Ltd. of Trinidad sold their 4960BHP twin screw anchor handling tug "Theseus" (ex-Geronimo Two, Britoil 3, Redoubtable, Chambon Alize, Sea Husky) to private interests. The vessel was sold "as is" with fire damage to the accommodation and bridge. The 130' x 32.5' tug was originally built by Brodogradiliste Tito of Yugoslavia as "Sea Husky" and is powered with twin B&W 16V23LU diesels driving controllable pitch props in active kort nozzles providing abt. 80 tons bollard pull. The tug, renamed "Jupiter 6" was lying damaged in Trinidad at the time of the sale. This is the 5th sale or purchase Marcon has worked on with Coloured Fin.
marcon.com...



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 11:39 AM
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I don't know about the Indian ocean, but in the Bermuda triangle scientists think huge releases of gas from underwater activity cause the water to loose its density very quickly. Causing a ship to go down in a matter of seconds.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:09 PM
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No matter what vessel it is, still pretty mysterious.

Those gas bubble theories in the Bermuda region were proven impossible (or at least 99.9% improbable). Cant remember exactly where I saw that, I think they also did some experiments on the tv show 'Myth Busters' according to whom it was impossible.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 12:28 PM
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Strange to have this tug just disappear like that without any communication. Your mind can go wild when thinking of the possible causes that lead to this ships disappearance. Could it have been one of those recently discovered rouge waves that pop up out of no where? The Indian Ocean has been a pretty active place in the last couple of years; could something have taken place originating from the sea floor? This tug would have had to cross by the Cape of Good Hope, I believe, which is notorious for being one of the more dangerous areas to traverse in a boat. Could the tug have been damaged in that dangerous area off the southern tip of Africa? In my opinion, member Journey is probably spot on with his theory. I remember watching an episode of Deep Sea Detectives, on the history channel, and they were investigating a similar incident.
The sinking of the Tug, Thomas Herbert, off the coast of New Jersey, had everyone puzzled when it disappeared in the spring of 93. It went down quickly, but two crew members were able to survive and it was their accounts of the incident that helped the detectives come to their conclusion. They believe that the tug probably had mechanical problems and "stalled" allowing the barge they were towing to essentially run over, and sink, them. Interesting story and most likely the probably cause of this disappearance.

www.njscuba.net...

*Details about three quarters of the way down the page.



[edit on 2-10-2005 by skychief]



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 03:12 PM
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Originally posted by skychief

In my opinion, member Journey is probably spot on with his theory.

I agree. I think that sounds like the most likely scenario. If that´s the case, they should be able to find scratches or something on the SAPSAN whenever they get a chance to inspect it.

Regenmacher, Great work (and nice to see a picture of Jupiter 6).

So... Jupiter 6´s previous names are: Theseus, Geronimo Two, Britoil 3, Redoubtable, Chambon Alize and Sea Husky ...



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 03:26 PM
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Originally posted by The_Modulus
No matter what vessel it is, still pretty mysterious.

Those gas bubble theories in the Bermuda region were proven impossible (or at least 99.9% improbable). Cant remember exactly where I saw that, I think they also did some experiments on the tv show 'Myth Busters' according to whom it was impossible.


Actually your thinking is twisted 180 degrees. The Mythbusters confirmed that freak waves and methane bubbles could accound for a good portion of lost ships and planes in the bermuda triangle. It doesn't take that much methane to stall a prop engine and currents can capsize and cause monster waves to appear from no where.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 04:38 PM
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My thinking?
I just remembered wrong dude...
But I do stand corrected.



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 05:17 PM
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Originally posted by sardion2000
...
The Mythbusters confirmed that freak waves and methane bubbles could accound for a good portion of lost ships and planes in the bermuda triangle.
...


Long live Mythbusters!

Anyways; Interesting story but I'd like some more information on the investigation if someone happens to stumble across anything...



posted on Oct, 2 2005 @ 07:28 PM
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man, very 'Bermuda Trianglish'

did this all happen today? if not, then when exactly was the tug discovered to be missing?

very puzzling. i also think Journey was correct. but we need more information. which doesnt seem to be in great supply, seeing as i cant find much on the story.

can anyone reccommend a search engine other than goole that might turn up more results?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 01:25 AM
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Also, the ship's hull was probaly painted black- at night, visibility is very poor. I remember some nights when the currents in the Gulf Stream were messsing with us we kept a close eye on the radar, just to determine the actual position of the barge being towed. And, if a light was out on the barge...as they have a red on the port side(left) and a green on the starboard side(right) of the hull, along with a white light on the bow(front) of the towed vessel. The deck of the ship would dwarf the height of the tugboat, this really complicates visibility. The tugs deck would be but mere feet out of the water, the ship,empty,would probaly have a deck about 35 feet or so out of the water. That should help visualise. The black hull is so hard to see, under these conditions ship, from all the mass and weight, has so much more momentum. Without power it takes a long distance just to slow it down...about a mile maybe two depending on the currents. Tug will coast, if it loses power, just a short distance.
One night, the ship hull barge we towed was directly abeam of us on the starboard side, (directly off to our right side of the tug) Very scary, and it was hard for me to sleep several nights on that long trip.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 02:21 AM
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There was and still is a tropical cyclone in the Indian Ocean at the time the tug vanished.





Tropical Cyclone 03B
www.npmoc.navy.mil...

Fire damaged tug + tropical storm = sunk



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 05:04 AM
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1975 SEA HUSKY, 1980 CHAMBON ALIZE, 1982 REDOUBTABLE, 1990 BRITOIL 3, 1995 GERONIMO TWO, 2002 THESEUS, 2004 JUPITER 6

Tug/AHT/Supply
Registered: IMO 7391745 /(GBR)ON 363690 /(FRA)ON 532994S
299 GRT, 85 NRT, L39,93m(32,19), B10,14m, D4,611m(5,31) - fifi, salv.
2 4bl. cpp, bowthr. 300bhp, 2x diesel 4tew V16cyl B&W ALPHA type 16V23LU, 4690bhp total, sp 13,5kn, bp 65t

1975: Built by "Brodogradiliste Tito" at Mitrovica (YN 925)
1975 -xx/04: delivered to "R.B. Leasing Co" at London, mng "K/S Bugge Supply Ships III A/S"(Oscar Bugge) at Tonsberg (NOR)
(GBR flag, ON 363690, c/s GURR)
1980: To "Cie Chambon Soc.Gén. De Remorquage et de Travaux Maritimes" at Marseille (FRA), renamed CHAMBON ALIZE
(FRA flag, ON 532994S, c/s FPQV)
1982: To "Alexandra Marine Transportaion Ltd" at Liverpool, renamed REDOUBTABLE
(GBR flag, ON 363690, c/s GURR, 311 GRT, 86 NRT)
1990: To "Britoil Offshore Services Pte Ltd" at Singapore, renamed BRITOIL 3
1995: To "Transpacific Towage Inc" at Manila (PHL) (447 GRT, 134 NRT), renamed GERONIMO TWO
(ON 000583, c/s DUA2441)
2000: To "Keppel Smit Transpacific Inc"
2002: To "Coloured Fin Ltd" at Chaguaramas, Trinidad (TTO), renamed THESEUS
(TTO flag, c/s 9YFE)
2004: To "Jupiter Shipmanagement Inc" at Mumbai (IND), renamed JUPITER 6
(VCT flag, c/s J8B3049)
2004: still in service


Source: Tugspotters.com





posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 10:04 AM
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Interesting story. It would seem to me that there should be a minimum of two tugs towing a ship of this size, one front and one rear, for a brake. Journey, what do you say?



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 12:35 PM
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Originally posted by jsobecky
Interesting story. It would seem to me that there should be a minimum of two tugs towing a ship of this size, one front and one rear, for a brake. Journey, what do you say?


That is the case, 2 or more tugs, when a vessel or barge is being towed in inland waters, in shipping lanes, or transversing shipping lanes for a port arrival. On the open seas, however, it is just one towing vessel. Also, a local pilot is on board to bring a vessel in, or out, of any port, they will board the vesssel when it arrives at the sea buoy of the port of the vessels destination. The pilots then bring the vessel in safely, as they are very familiar with their local waters. there are no pilots on board in open seas, it is just the crew. A typical tug boat crew would be this, Captain, Mate, 2 Able Bodied Seamen,maybe one deckhand, and an enginneer. If the captain or mate fell asleep at the wheel...or the engines went down...all it takes is for one person to slack at their job, this will lead to situations that endanger the lives of all the crew.



posted on Oct, 3 2005 @ 12:38 PM
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Originally posted by worldwatcher
Reminds of those old Bermuda triangle stories.


Ya, those are pretty much explained as methane gas leaks from the ocean floor.







 
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