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November 12th, 2009

Oil Rig Workers Rescued from Rig in Gulf of Mexico

Tropical storm Ida may have come and gone, but every time a hurricane begins to grow, oil rig workers in the Gulf of Mexico, see up close the dangers that come from living and working on these rigs.

This week, two crew members on a Chevron oil rig in the Gulf of Mexico had to be rescued by the Coast Guard after their rig sustained damage. Strong waves caused a lift boat, that had been tied to the rig, to break loose and smash against the berthing satellite and walkway. The workers, fearful that the rig might collapse in the Gulf of Mexico, contacted the Coast Guard.  The two men were rescued by helicopters and brought to New Orleans. Rescue for the two men was a hazardous affair because of the gusty 28mph winds.

Several oil companies were forced to shut down production as Ida approached, but have since begun drilling again in the Gulf of Mexico. Ida was the first storm this year that was strong enough to threaten drilling rigs in the region. The storm had weakened by the time it made land fall. But oil rig workers flying back to platforms after Ida, continue to report rough seas. Winds are still high according to helicopter operators, although they are nothing like the strong winds a few days back.

The demand for oil ensures that drilling and production activities in the Gulf of Mexico, which supplies about 25 percent of the country’s oil and gas needs, can barely halt. Unfortunately, the greed for profits and non-stop drilling means that very often, worker safety may be compromised. Work on an oil rig, even after stricter standards, continues to be one of the most dangerous occupations in the world.

A Maritime Lawyer Can Help an Injured Oil Rig Worker Recover Compensation

Oil rig workers who are injured on the job may qualify for damages under the Jones Act, if a maritime lawyer can prove that the worker meets the criteria for a Jones Act seaman. This means that the worker must be assigned to a rig that’s in operation, and must contribute to the mission of a rig. Obviously, it suits operators and owners of rigs to deny that a worker meets the criteria, because it denies him access to a Jones Act claim. That’s why it’s important to consult with a maritime attorney who can prove that the worker is eligible for Jones Act seaman status. Schechter, Shaffer & Harris, L.L.P., Accident & Injury Lawyers

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