Suspected alcohol poisoning behind Boka Vanguard medevac

Malcolm Latarche

Malcolm Latarche · 09 January 2020


Five crew members of the heavy lift vessel Boka Vanguard are in hospital in South Africa with suspected alcohol poisoning while a further deceased crewman’s body remains on board.

The vessel was passing South Africa on Tuesday when NSRI Durban, Netcare 911 ambulance services and the SA Air Force (SAAF), were tasked by MRCC (Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre) to prepare to respond to rendezvous with a Heavy Lift Vessel, that was approaching Durban, to assist 5 adult Brazilian male crewmen suffering injuries sustained in an accident onboard.


The vessel was carrying a FPSO from China to Brazil when the incident occurred and has continued its voyage. The five surviving personnel were transferred to hospital in Durban.

No cause was reported by the South African authorities but reports in Brazillian media have said that the cause of the illness is ethyl alcohol (ethanol) ingestion. It has not been revealed whether the alcohol came from commercial beverages or was some form of DIY attempt by the crew.

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