ZUG, Switzerland– Transocean says its ultra-deepwater semisubmersible rig, Sedco Express (EXS), was working offshore Nigeria for customer Eni when it received news of a nearby fuel tanker on fire. The Sedco Express crew played a vital role in coordinating a rescue effort for 13 lives.
On Tuesday morning, May 7, the bridge crew received a report from one of the field security vessels (FSVs) that the tankerOkiki had caught fire about eight nautical miles east from the rig. The tanker was in the area in order to offload fuel to supply vessels so installations operating in that block could be refueled.
FSV Abraham was dispatched to the scene and Captain Romulo Oliveira and hisEXS team assumed the role of on-scene coordinator for the response and ultimate rescue of the crew. Mayday-relay messages sent by the rig were acknowledged by MV Al-Kat which promptly proceeded to the distress location. Al-Kat engaged in remote firefighting after the crew abandoned the tanker.
Of the 14 crewmembers reported on board ofMT Okiki, 13 were safely rescued from the sea by FSV Abraham. The survivors were transferred to the Sedco Express where they were checked by the rig medic and provided with dry clothes and basic needs. The crew arranged for two helicopters to take the survivors into town for further medical checks. The missing man has not been found despite the efforts of the vessels during the search and rescue operations.
“The key to the effective assistance during this difficult situation was good coordination of the situation by theEXS team and the full support received from our customer deploying every available resource at the time,” said Jelle Gepkens, OIM, Sedco Express.“The timely response combined with the team spirit has truly saved lives.”