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Coast Guard Rescues Drillship Crew Stranded by Noble & Shell

Just hours after we gave an update on the stranded crew of the Globetrotter II, the Coast Guard mobilized to rescue the 142 men. The rescue operation comes three days after Hurricane Ida nearly capsized their drillship, leaving many of them to believe they were going to die at sea. It was a harrowing experience; thankfully, they’re home now.

One of the crew members reported to News 10 KLFY something that confirms our suspicions: Shell and Noble delayed the evacuation until it was too late, and it resulted in at least 4 men getting injured and over 100 enduring one of the worst storms in Louisiana history without knowing if rescue was coming. Allegedly, Shell called the morning Hurricane Ida was supposed to arrive and told the crew to “get the pipe” and navigate out of the hurricane’s way.

“If you’ve ever worked on a rig and you’ve ever had to pull a riser, you know that’s a three-day job,” an anonymous crew member said. “We don’t have time to do that in three hours.” The Globetrotter II attempted to run away from the storm, but with 2,400 feet of pipe underneath them, they could only navigate at about 2 mph. There was no way they were going to outrun the hurricane.

“Yeah, we knew we were on our own,” he said.

Even after four men were injured and the ship was taking on water, Shell or Noble didn’t send help, or even commit to a specific rescue timeline. It was only after the crew publicly shared photos and video of conditions aboard the vessel and their story was widely reported that the Coast Guard launched a helicopter rescue crew from New Orleans.

The Globetrotter I, the sister ship to the Globetrotter II, received a slightly earlier call from Shell and Noble to bring their ship to port. They were lucky enough to make it home safely. The difference was a matter of hours—but in a hurricane, those hours could mean life or death. Offshore companies know that.

Our offshore injury lawyers are relieved to hear that the crew was brought home safely, and we hope Shell and Noble are made responsible for the harm they've needlessly inflicted on these men. 

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