In our recent blogs, our firm has discussed the Globetrotter II, which was nearly capsized by Hurricane Ida. For days, 150-mph winds and 80-foot swells pounded the drillship, which was not given enough time to evacuate out of Hurricane Ida’s path due to inaction from Noble Corporation (which owns the vessel) and Shell Oil (which leases it). The Coast Guard rescued the crew of 100+ workers only after conditions aboard the vessel were made public via the crew’s own videos, pictures, and posts.
In our initial blogs, we speculated that the failure of the vessel to navigate away from Hurricane Ida was a result of company policy or direction, not a result of the crew’s failure. Subsequent reports and testimony from crew aboard the Globetrotter II validated those speculations, as it became clear that Shell and Noble had ample time to get the Globetrotter II out of the way, but they didn’t.
Several of the injured crew members have turned to us for help, as it has become clear that neither Shell nor Noble will take responsibility for their role in the near-destruction of the Globetrotter II.
Trapped in Terrifying Conditions for Days
While Hurricane Ida made landfall on August 29, the National Hurricane Center had issued warnings for days about the storm’s projected path, which were ultimately accurate. However, the defendants kept the vessel working in the Gulf of Mexico as Ida grew in strength, revealing a serious disregard for the lives and safety of the crew. The defendants were acting in direct defiance of the National Hurricane Center’s forecast.
By the time the crew was directed to unlatch and evacuate, the defendants directed them to sail into Hurricane Ida, within 10 miles of the eyewall—the most devastating part of the storm. The winds and waves threw the crew into the walls, and the ship swayed side-to-side so severely that the vessel nearly capsized multiple times. Crew members were forced to walk on the walls at certain points during the voyage.
“It’s terrifying to be abandoned at sea in a hurricane while facing a brutal life or death survival ordeal for hours,” says Attorney Kurt Arnold, who is representing multiple plaintiffs. “Each summer we’re seeing more cases like this. Big energy companies are willing to sacrifice their crews to the life-threatening horrors of a hurricane just so they don’t lose a couple of extra days of drilling.”
The Impact of Shell & Noble’s Actions on Our Client
These rough, catastrophic conditions left our clients with serious physical injuries and emotional distress. The damage to their necks, backs, and shoulders are matched only by the experience’s psychological trauma, which has left them with anxiety and trouble focusing, concentrating, or sleeping. All of these injuries could make it impossible for crew members to return to maritime work in the near future, if at all.
We believe the defendants are entirely to blame for the crew’s harm. They failed to supervise the crew properly, made dangerous decisions that put the crew in peril, and ultimately created an environment that resulted in an unseaworthy vessel. They did all of this without regard for our clients’ safety and well-being.
Attorneys Kurt Arnold, Kyle Findley, and John Grinnan have filed this lawsuit on behalf of hard-working men who haver endured an ordeal no one should ever experience. Our maritime injury lawyers look forward to holding Shell and Noble accountable for our their medical care, lost wages, and other harm inflicted on them. We also look forward to sharing their story with the public, who deserve to know what happened to those 142 men who were stranded at sea during one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history.
The case was filed in Harris County, Texas.