Torch Offshore, Inc. announced that its wholly-owned subsidiary, Torch Offshore, L.L.C., has terminated the three-year bareboat charter of the Midnight Hunter from Cable Shipping Inc. as of January 24, 2003, because of the failure of the vessel to meet certain specifications as outlined in the charter agreement as well as other documents. In connection with the termination of the charter agreement, the Company's subsidiary filed suit in the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana. This suit sought an order, which has been granted by the court, attaching the Midnight Hunter as security for the Company's claims related to the termination of the charter agreement.
Torch Offshore, Inc. Chairman and CEO, Lyle G. Stockstill, commented, "It is unfortunate that the Midnight Hunter does not meet the specifications as marketed to us and stated in the charter agreement, which we relied upon. We were looking forward to working the vessel in our deepwater fleet. It is a surprising situation for the Company but one that will not stop our progression into the deepwater."