Drillship crew starting to be evacuated from Gulf of Mexico after being pummeled by Ida
Work continues today to get crew members on board the "Noble Globetrotter II" back to shore today. The ultra-deepwater drillship was located about 80 miles southeast of Grand Isle, in the Gulf of Mexico, when Hurricane Ida came through.
Yesterday, we showed you video and pictures from a viewer who is in close contact with those on the "Noble Globetrotter II." April Janice LaFleur tells us about 100 people were on board, and she shared the videos because some in the crew were desperately looking for help evacuating. Since then, she tells us the evacuations have begun and the ship is being escorted back to the shipyard.
After the videos began circulating, the Coast Guard did dispatch a helicopter and the Coast Guard Cutter Venturous to ensure the crew was safe. They say those onboard assured them they were not in distress, and the ship wasn't taking in water.
Today, a company spokesperson tells WBRZ nine crew members sustained minor injuries, four of which have been taken to shore already for evaluation. The ship is owned by Noble, and they are performing contract work for Shell in the Gulf of Mexico.
They tell us they left their well location early Saturday to get out of Hurricane Ida's path, but they still encountered hurricane-force conditions. They say the vessel is able to operate "under its own power with functional marine and safety systems." Although the cofferdam on the ship was damaged and took on water, officials say it wasn't critical to the vessel's safety or stability. The company spokesperson says they're continuing the process of transporting some crew members to shore and getting replacement personnel in to help.
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