Coast Guard working on plan to bring ship stranded by Ida into port for repairs
Lake Charles, LA (KPLC) - One-hundred-forty-two people rode out Hurricane Ida on a drillship in the Gulf of Mexico after getting caught in the storm.
The Globetrotter II, owned by Noble Corporation and sailing under a Liberian flag, is currently 80 nautical miles south, southeast of Grand Isle, La., according to information from the U.S. Coast Guard 8th District.
The Coast Guard and Noble are currently developing a plan to bring the ship into port for repairs.
A crew member, who spoke with KPLC but asked to remain anonymous, said the ship is actively taking on water. The crew member says he’s been told they will be evacuated from the ship. He says he is scheduled to leave the ship on Thursday.
“The ship almost capsized, it flipped over on a 45-degree angle,” said the crewmember, crediting the captain for keeping the ship upright. “I just thought the rig was going to flip. You know, it was terrifying. I heard people crying, hollering in the halls.”
“Mentally, it was terrible. And I feel that once I get off... I mean, I need the job, but I don’t want to be out here anymore.”
Coast Guard officials said they have been in contact with Noble Corporation and the U.S. licensed master of the Globetrotter II since Sunday. The officials said that the master has maintained that the vessel was not in distress and not actively taking on water.
However, images released on social media, reportedly from the crew of the Globetrotter II, show potential issues with safety, including possible damage to the hull, the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard said it has sent a helicopter from New Orleans to survey the ship and has sent the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous, out of an abundance of caution.
The crew member sent photos and videos to KPLC. Those photos show water in the ship, including a stairwell covered by water, as well as items strewn about by the storm.
“I think we lost thrusters, water coming in the A/C units and stuff on the aft of the ship,” he said. “It was just a lot.”
Noble released the following statement on Sunday: “Noble Corporation today announced that all personnel onboard the Pacific Sharav, Noble Globetrotter I, and Noble Globetrotter II ultra-deepwater drillships in the US Gulf of Mexico are safe and accounted for following Hurricane Ida. Each rig successfully secured its respective well in progress and took evasive actions to avoid the storm’s path. Of the three, the Noble Globetrotter II is the only vessel that encountered hurricane-force conditions. The vessel maintained stability throughout the weather event and is operating on its own power with functional marine and safety systems. A full assessment of its condition will be completed as soon as the weather clears.”
Coast Guard officials confirmed that when Ida hit, the ship was attempting to get out of the path of the storm.
The crew member says the ship did not attempt to evacuate until Saturday morning, which was too late.
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