The U.S. Coast Guard rescued nine people Thursday from a burning jack-up drilling rig near Sabine Pass, Texas.
Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a notification at 12:51 p.m. from the dredging vessel Ohio that the Pride Wisconsin offshore drilling rig was on fire in Sabine Pass with nine people aboard.
Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a Coast Guard Station Sabine Pass 45-foot Response Boat–Medium crew and an Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew to assist. The Port Arthur Fire Department and Jefferson County Sheriff's Office also responded, all under the coordination of the Sector Houston-Galveston commander center personnel.
According to the U.S. Coast Guard, the Dolphin crew arrived on-scene, lowered a rescue swimmer and began hoisting the crewmembers. The Dolphin crew transported all nine crew members to a nearby rig which was accessible by land allowing the crewmembers to meet with emergency medical services personnel onshore.
No injuries were reported and there are no signs of pollution at this time. The Port Arthur Fire Department will maintain the scene until they can confirm that the fire has burned itself out. The cause of the incident is under investigation, the U.S. Coast Guard said.
"Thanks to the phenomenal teamwork and coordination by everyone involved, nine lives were saved," said Capt. Keith M. Donohue, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. "Coast Guard crews and personnel train year-round for life-saving situations like this and we take great pleasure in knowing everyone was able to go home safely."