Two crew members were taken to hospital after an explosion on a Greek offshore support ship off France.

The accident involving the 111-loa multipurpose Athena (built 2013) happened while the vessel was moored at Quai de l’Asie in Le Havre on 17 November.

The Greek-flag ship had been in the area to bury submarine cables for the Fecamp field.

There were 30 Greek crew members and 38 technicians on board at the time.

The Athena had arrived in Le Havre on 15 November to protect itself from a storm, the Ouest France daily reported.

The vessel was due to head back out on Friday, but carried out tests on a hydraulic launching circuit on Thursday night.

During these, a blast occurred involving a compressor, starting a fire that was immediately extinguished.

A total of 43 firefighters were sent to the scene by the local fire and rescue service.

An alert was given to evacuate the two injured crew members.

The injured seafarers suffered bruises, second-degree burns to their hands, and a broken rib.

They were taken to a burns treatment centre at the Saint-Louis Hospital in Paris.

The crew members returned to Le Havre on Friday. They were due to be repatriated on Monday.

Probe and safety checks begin

Checks and inspections were carried out by the country’s ship safety centre and the classification society American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) to verify the integrity of the vessel and its fitness to return to sea.

The report said repairs were due to be carried out and the crew relieved.

Operator Asso Marine Services of Greece has been contacted for further information.

The Athena, which remained moored in Le Havre on Monday morning, has no port state control detentions on its record.

The vessel has protection and indemnity (P&I) from Skuld in Norway.