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May 2nd, 2013

Norwegian Rig Personnel Evacuated after Safety Incident

Most personnel on board the floating hotel rig, the Floatel Superior in the Norwegian Continental Shelf had to be evacuated after the discovery of a damaged ballast tank recently.

The workers woke up in the early hours of the morning to the news that they would have to conduct an emergency evacuation of the rig because of the discovery of a leaking ballast. Approximately 326 nonessential personnel on the rig were evacuated immediately to adjacent installations. Evacuation procedures were challenging because of the strong winds at the time.

A base crew of 48 crewmembers remained on the rig for emergency duty. All personnel were immediately evacuated to other installations. The leaking ballast tank led to water seepage, and caused the rig to tilt. However, the crew was able to quickly rectify the tilt, and stabilize the rig.

An entire emergency response crew, including 6 helicopters, arrived to help. The rig is expected to be towed to shore where it will be subjected to an evaluation and repair. The hotel rig is the base for approximately 374 crew members who operate the production platform. The rig which served as accommodation for crewmembers is now being readied for a move to a Statoil-operated field

Investigations into the incident will begin, soon but it is believed that one of the anchors came loose and fell, damaging one of the outer tanks. That led to a leak in a ballast tank. The rig began to tilt soon after, but that situation was immediately rectified by releasing water into the opposite tank.

The Houston offshore injury lawyers at Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers  represent crewmembers on offshore oil rigs and platforms who have been injured in accidents.

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