In light of the announcement by the French Regional Operational Centre for Surveillance and Rescue (CROSS) that the search for the missing crew members of the Bourbon Rhode, which sank in the Atlantic on 26 September, about 2,000 kilometres from the French island of Martinique, has been suspended, the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs would like to state the following:
From the moment the news about the Bourbon Rhode sinking broke, the Ministry has kept close contact through the Croatian Embassy in Paris with the relevant French authorities, search coordinators, the Bourbon Offshore company and the family of the Croatian captain Miškić.
According to CROSS, this was the most extensive search operation at sea ever conducted by French services. The operation involved specialised ships and aircraft, as well as all merchant ships that were passing through the area where the Bourbon Rhode sank. More than 110,000 square kilometres, nearly twice the size of Croatia, have been searched. It resulted in the discovery of three crew members who survived the accident and another four who died.
The operation was suspended because it was highly unlikely that a further search would produce results, given the circumstances of the accident and the size of the search area. However, all merchant ships passing through have been instructed to watch the area carefully and pass on any useful information to the relevant institution
The Ministry is aware of the great effort made by the French authorities and relevant institutions to find the missing seafarers and is grateful for that. It expresses deep regret that the search has failed to shed light on the fate of the missing captain Mikšić.