Coast Guard to hold joint press conference regarding oil drilling platform fire

NEW ORLEANS, La. – The U.S. Coast Guard, Deputy Secretary for the Department of the Interior, BP, and Transocean will be holding a press conference to discuss ongoing operations surrounding the Deepwater Horizon mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) explosion, fire, investigation, SAR (search and rescue), and pollution response at 3:00 PM Central Time.

The Coast Guard continues the search for 11 missing crewmembers from the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Deepwater Horizon.

Watchstanders at the U.S. Coast Guard District Eight command center here received a report at approximately 10 p.m. Tuesday of an explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon, approximately 42 miles Southeast of Venice, La.

Updated reports indicate that there were 126 people on board the MODU at the time of the explosion.

One-hundred-fifteen crewmembers have been accounted for. Of those accounted for:

  • Seventeen crewmembers were medevaced from the scene
  • Ninety-four crewmembers are being transferred to shore at Port Fourchon aboard the Damien Baxton, an offshore supply vessel. There are no major injuries reported for these members.
  • Four crewmembers have been transferred to another vessel

TheCoast Guard is actively searching for all unaccounted for personnel and have the following units responding:

  • Air Station New Orleans: Two HH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopters and crews
  • Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala.: One HH-60 rescue helicopter and crew and One HC-144 Ocean Sentry rescue plane and crew
  • Coast Guard cutters Pompano, Zephyr, Razorbill and Cobia are on scene.

BP and Transocean have established a Command Post in Houston and will be working with the Coast Guard for SAR, firefighting, pollution response and salvage operations.

The Coast Guard is establishing a safety zone. Mariners will not be allowed into this zone without Coast Guard approval, as the zone will be in place to minimize the risk to other mariners and protect the safety of first responders. Additionally, airspace restrictions include a 5 nautical mile radius around the Deepwater Horizon MODU and 4,000 feet elevation.

Family members can contact the following number for additional information: (832) 587-8554.

The oil fire is still burning and the cause of the explosion is under investigation. Initial indications show that this was not a terrorist incident. The investigation is a cooperative effort between Mineral Management Service and the U.S. Coast Guard.

If you have any problems viewing this article, please report it here.