Working on an offshore oil rig brings with it many challenges, including the risk of explosions that could cause serious injury. However, workers are also at risk of an injury even before the rig is placed and operating. A recent incident in which an offshore rig broke free from its tow demonstrates yet another danger that is faced by those who work on offshore drilling operations.
An experienced offshore drilling rig accident lawyer knows that any time an offshore worker is injured, whether this injury occurs during the tow or at another occasion, the worker is entitled to compensation for damage and loss. Those responsible for the maintenance and operation of rigs need to ensure that the tow line is safe, secure and able to safely haul the rig in order to reduce the danger to workers and protect itself from potential legal liability for losses.
Oil Rig Breaks Free During Tow
One recent incident reported by CBC illustrates clearly the importance of taking all safety precautions when an oil rig is being owed. The incident occurred when an oil rig that had been working in an area south of St. John called the White Rose oilfield had to be transported to Mississippi. The rig was being towed by the Atlantic Hawk.
Unfortunately, amidst an Atlantic storm, the oil rig broke free of its tow. The break happened south of Newfoundland and occurred at a time when the waves were reaching five-meters.
After the rig broke free, it was stranded for a total of two days because of the storm. There were 99 workers who were aboard the rig and stuck offshore until the rig was able to be reattached to the Atlantic Hawk with a new tow-line and ultimately towed to its destination.
While no workers were reportedly injured in the incident, it was still a very dangerous situation for those who were left to ride out the storm on the detached rig. Fortunately, the rig was able to maintain its position even amidst the high waves because it could use its own thrusters. It was the knowledge and hard work of the crew to keep the rig in place that prevented disaster from occurring and helped everyone to stay safe.
The Transportation Safety Board has indicated that it does not plan to investigate the incident, and the rig was back in route to Mississippi after the storm cleared and the weather calmed. Once it arrives at its destination, it will undergo a scheduled refurbishment before the ship is returned to the area in Newfoundland where the oil field is located.
If oil rig companies are proactive in complying with regulations and making sure all parts of the rigs are safe, incidents of rigs breaking free from tow lines should be reduced or eliminated.
If you or a loved one suffered a Gulf Coast maritime or offshore injury, contact the Law Offices of William Gee III at 1-800-488-5227 to speak to a Louisiana offshore accident lawyer.