Collapsed Mississippi Gulf Rig Leaves 8 Injured

Friday, September 12, 2003
A Coast Guardsman and a Gulfport Fire Department paramedic aboard a Coast Guard helicopter tend to an injured worker from the jack-up rig Parker 14 J that collapsed off the Mississippi-Louisiana coast yesterday. (U.S. Coast Guard photo).

The 41 people aboard an offshore drilling rig that collapsed off the Mississippi-Louisiana coast yesterday afternoon have been rescued.

Eight people were injured in the accident and were taken by New Orleans-based Coast Guard helicopters to Gulfport Regional Airport for further transfer by awaiting EMS personnel to Gulfport Memorial Hospital. With the extent of the injuries still unknown, it was reported that a sheen measuring approximately 200 yards wide and four miles long is now visible at the accident scene, drifting away in a southeasterly direction.

Three commercial vessels rescued the 36 remaining survivors and are transporting them to Venice, La. The supply vessel LCD picked up 27, the crew boat David McCall picked up six, and the crew boat Brazos Express picked up six people.

The rig, Parker 14 J, an 85-ft. (25.9-m) jack-up rig owned by Parker USA Drilling Co., based in New Iberia, La., collapsed at about 3:20 p.m. yesterday in 40 ft. of water in an area known as Chandeleur Block 27. There is reportedly 10,500 gallons of diesel fuel on board the rig, however there have not yet been any reports of pollution.

Coast Guard marine investigators on scene reported that the rig is partially submerged, however the exact cause of the accident remains unknown and will be investigated by the Coast Guard Marine Safety Office New Orleans.

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