Coast Guard responds to collision between freighter and drilling unit near Port Aransas

8th Coast Guard District News

CORPUS CHRISTI, Texas — The Coast Guard is responding to a collision between a mobile offshore drilling unit and a tanker vessel Wednesday, near Port Aransas.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard Sector Corpus Christi received a report at 7:25 a.m., that the Rowan EXL-1, a mobile offshore drilling unit, and the 750-foot tanker vessel FR8 Pride had collided in the Aransas Channel, near buoy 3.

The FR8 Pride was heading inbound in the Aransas Pass Channel when it reportedly lost propulsion and drifted into the Rowan EXL-1.

The FR8 Pride was able to separate itself from the Rowan EXL-1 with the assistance of nearby tugs.

The Rowan EXL-1 suffered significant damage, resulting in a minor hydraulic oil leak from a damaged crane.

The crew of the Rowan EXL-1 was able to move the MODU offshore and stabilize it by deploying its legs.

The crew of the FR8 Pride reported flooding in a forward ballast space, but they were able to control the flooding and ground the FR8 Pride two miles offshore.

The Coast Guard deployed multiple assets to respond to the collision including:

  • Two MH-65 Dolphin rescue helicopter from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi
  • An HU-25 Guardian jet from Coast Guard Air Station Corpus Christi
  • Two 45-foot Response Boat – Medium from Coast Guard Station Port Aransas
  • The Coast Guard Cutter Manatee homeported in Corpus Christi


The Coast Guard has currently deployed teams of offshore vessel inspectors, port state control examiners, marine casualty investigators and pollution responders.

The Aransas Pass Channel remains open to traffic.

There were no reports of injuries or significant pollution.

The Coast Guard is currently investigating the cause of the incident.

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