Our firm has heard that as of a few hours ago, the crew of the Globetrotter II, which was not evacuated before Hurricane Ida made landfall, is now stranded on the rig as it floods with water. There is evidently a hull breach that has flooded the lower level, as reported by Live Storm Chasers via a Facebook Watch video.
“We are using pumps to try and pump the water out as fast as it’s coming in…but it’s to the point where it’s equalized and the watertight door has been compromised as well,” said a crew member. In the video, the watertight door can be seen opening and closing as the water comes in. The video also shows a glimpse of the hurricane winds shearing against the rig with incredible force. Official data shows that Hurricane Ida is one of, if not the most powerful hurricane Louisiana has ever faced.
The captain originally reported to the Coast Guard that the Globetrotter II was in “perfect operation,” but contacted them again to retract his statement after the crew discovered the hull breach.
Why Was the Crew Not Evacuated?
There are over 14 drilling rigs in the Gulf, and most of them were evacuated before Hurricane Ida’s arrival. The crew of the Globetrotter II, which is owned by Noble Energy Corp. but contracted to Shell, remained on board. There are reports that the rig’s low marine riser package (LMRP), a type of blowout preventer was damaged. If the rig was unable to disconnect from the LMRP in time, that might have prevented them from evacuating. However, that’s speculation, and as of this writing, the answer is unknown.
Arnold & Itkin is continuing to follow this development as it unfolds. Our hearts go out to the crew and their families—we hope they’re brought home safely and quickly.