The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a fire aboard a decommissioned jack-up rig on Thursday, February 24th, with reports that 9 shipyard workers were trapped inside. The fire broke out shortly before 1 p.m. local time aboard the rig, which was being prepared for demolition at Port City Partners Marine Yard in the Sabine Pass, where the Texas-Louisiana border meets the Gulf of Mexico.
All 9 workers were rescued by a Coast Guard helicopter crew, who shuttled them to a nearby platform. No injuries were reported, although the workers had been a mere 100 feet from the flames. Port Arthur Fire Department and JCSO air and marine units were also on the scene, responding to the fire and explosions.
What Happens to Oil Rigs When They Are Decommissioned?
The process of decommissioning an oil rig involves sealing the oil well and deconstructing the rig itself in order to “return the ocean and seafloor to its pre-lease condition,” according to the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE). The oil rig that caught fire in the Sabine Pass shipyard had been grounded for demolition.
Our oil rig fire lawyers are watching this incident closely. Our thoughts are with the workers and their families whose lives have been impacted.