More than 100 men say they are stranded on a drill ship in the Gulf of Mexico after Hurricane Ida battered the area, and they don’t know when they’ll be rescued.
“I mean I was watching grown men with life jackets hold on for dear life crying in the hallway. It was bad,” one anonymous crew member told KLFY News Ten.
Crew on the Noble’s Globetrotter II drill ship, which is located about 100 miles from Louisiana’s shore, said they rode out the storm as 80-foot waves and 150 mile an hour winds battered the ship. The crew said Noble Corporation and Shell were supposed to rescue them, but help never arrived.
“Being on the top deck, you can look through the glass and see the bottom of the rig at certain points in time. We had 60-80 foot seas that we were getting hit with, so the boat was sideways, getting pretty much capsized in the water. Someway, somehow we didn’t flip,” he said.
The ship is now taking on water, and they can’t go outside because it’s “too dangerous out there,” as the storm left broken cranes, electrical wires and chemicals in its wake, according to the crew member.
The anonymous crew member said Noble Corporation and Shell only contacted them about evacuation efforts the morning the storm was set to hit.
“They got with us too late. We tried to run away, but it was right on [our] tail. There was no running from it, so we got hit with the full force,” he told News Ten.
Now, the crew member said that Shell and Noble have not stayed in contact with the ship and they have no idea when they will be rescued.
“Nobody’s telling us anything. I know we’re taking in water in the back, and we don’t know what’s going on- if helps coming or when it’s coming.”
“We’re in the living quarters just like prisoners, just stuck in the living quarters.”
Four of the crew members were injured by the storm, and Shell told News Ten that those people were rescued on Tuesday. The company also said they are looking at where they can land helicopters to rescue the remaining men.
“I know we ain’t gonna be out of here today. I pray to God we’re out of here by tomorrow, but I don’t see that happening either,” the crew member said.
“We just want people to know that there’s a serious situation out here.”
Noble Corporation told Fox News on Wednesday that, “The Noble Globetrotter II drillship successfully secured its well in progress and departed the well location early on August 28th to take evasive action from Hurricane Ida’s storm path.”
“The vessel encountered hurricane-force conditions during this transit but maintained stability throughout the weather event. The vessel continues to operate on its own power with functional marine and safety systems,” the statement said, adding that the “vessel’s heli-deck is fully operational, and helicopter transportation will resume as charter service.”
“In the meantime, emergency helicopter transportation off of the rig is available should it be required.”
“The Company is proud of the performance of the vessel’s crew and can confirm that all personnel on board are safe and accounted for, however, four individuals with injuries requiring first aid were evacuated for further medical evaluation as a precautionary measure.”
Hurricane Ida hit Louisiana on Sunday as a Category 4 storm and has since been downgraded. Remnants of the storm are set to affect parts of the Northeast on Wednesday.