MV Flare

MV Flare (P3GL2) was a Cypriot-registered bulk carrier that sank with the loss of 21 lives in the Cabot Strait on January 16, 1998.

Name: M/V Flare
Owner: ABTA Shipping Co. Ltd., Limassol, Cyprus
Operator: Trade Fortune Inc., Piraeus, Greece
Port of registry: Limassol, Cyprus
Builder: Hakodate Dock Co. Ltd., Japan
Launched: 1972
Identification: IMO number: 7220477
Fate: Sank, 16 January 1998
General characteristics [1]
Type: Bulk carrier
Tonnage: 16,398 GT
Length: 180.8 m (593 ft 2 in)
Beam: 23.1 m (75 ft 9 in)
Draught: 6.93 m (22 ft 9 in)
Depth: 14.5 m (47 ft 7 in)
Propulsion: Sulzer-IHI engine, 8,827 kW (11,837 hp)
Speed: 15.1 knots (28.0 km/h; 17.4 mph)

Flare was en route from Rotterdam to Quebec when she broke in two during severe weather, approximately 20 nmi (37 km) west of Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon on January 16, 1998. The stern section of the bulk carrier sank within 30 minutes while the bow remained afloat for days. 21 crew members perished, and four survived.[1] The crew was able to send one truncated 20-second distress call that was received by the Canadian Coast Guard, who had to determine who and where the ship was within an area with a 40-mile (64 km) radius.[2] Some of Flare's crewmembers on the sinking stern section saw the bow of another ship appear to approach them, only to realize that it was the separated front half of their own vessel. The propeller on the stern section had still been turning, and had brought them back towards it.

The survivors were rescued by a CH-113 Labrador helicopter from CFB Greenwood, Nova Scotia, belonging to 413 Search and Rescue Squadron of the Canadian Forces. The helicopter's crew consisted of aircraft commander Capt. C. Brown, co-pilot Capt. R. Gough, flight engineer/winch operator M.Cpl. R. Butler, and SAR Technicians Sgt. T. Isaacs and M.Cpl. P. Jackman.

The lightly clothed survivors were taken to hospital in Saint-Pierre-et-Miquelon and treated for extreme hypothermia. The bodies that were recovered were collected by Marine Nationale, Canadian Coast Guard, and Royal Canadian Navy ships including HMCS Montreal⁠—and a CH-113 Labrador helicopter of 103 Search and Rescue Squadron from CFB Gander.

Flare's stern sank within minutes. The floating bow section drifted on the surface for several days, eventually sinking south of Cape Breton Island.


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