One seafarer is missing and another was injured in a stabbing on a Vitol-controlled tanker in the Pacific.
Franceinfo said a brawl broke out on the 50,600-dwt Liberia-flag Elandra Corallo (built 2008) off New Caledonia on Tuesday.
A crew member suffered stab wounds and his alleged attacker jumped overboard.
The tanker was 400 nautical miles (740 km) north-west of Koumac at the time, New Caledonia’s high commissioner said.
The incident was reported to the local maritime rescue co-ordination centre (MRCC) in the capital, Noumea, in the late afternoon.
During a conference call, the ship, the MRCC and the maritime medical consultation centre based in Toulouse, France, decided on the medical evacuation of the victim.
The MRCC also coordinated the search operation for the missing seafarer.
Four merchant ships were diverted to the scene and took part in the operation, but the search was halted late that night with no result.
Evacuated by helicopter
The injured crew member was brought ashore by helicopter on Wednesday afternoon, in what was described as “a delicate medical evacuation operation on the high seas”.
He was treated by emergency teams at Kone hospital.
The vessel had left Yeosu in South Korea on 19 October and is due to arrive at Marsden Point in New Zealand on 6 November.
AIS data showed the Elandra Corallo underway off north-east Australia on Thursday.
The tanker, owned by China’s ICBC Financial Leasing, is on a five-year bareboat charter to Vitol’s Elandra unit in Singapore.
Vitol has been contacted for further information.