On Friday, an offshore vessel on contract to Petrobras went down near the Albacora oil field in Brazil's Campos Basin region.
The 140-foot offshore survey vessel Carmen took on a list at about 0430 hours, and the master ordered the crew to abandon ship. She went down at about 0500 hours Friday morning.
All 18 of her crewmembers were rescued from the vessel's life rafts, according to the Brazilian Navy. No injuries were reported and all crewmembers are well.
The Carmen was performing bathymetric survey work at the time of the casualty, according to operator OceanPact Geosciences. Video from the scene of the casualty shows rough surface conditions, with swells large enough to periodically obscure the Carmen's lifeboats from view.
The Brazilian Navy has ordered OceanPact to maintain an oil pollution response presence at the scene in case fuel or debris from the vessel comes up to the surface. An inquiry into the circumstances of the sinking is under way.
"We are providing all necessary support to the crew and their families and are available for any clarifications that may be necessary for the authorities," said Maurício Latado, OceanPact's director General.
Brazilian petroleum union Sindicato dos Petroleiros do Norte Fluminense (Sindipetro NF) called for strengthening the inspection system for offshore vessels serving in the sector.
“The lack of inspection on some vessels hired by Petrobrás as well as the precariousness of the inspection teams on board sets off an alert," said the union's director of health and safety, Alexandre Vieira. "We thank each tanker and oil company that worked to rescue workers, demonstrating the importance of the union of the oil sector and the high preparation that each of us has to act in adverse situations."