In Ida's Wake, 100 Say They're Stranded Aboard Ship

Crew endured 80-foot waves as hurricane passed by
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Sep 1, 2021 10:06 AM CDT

(Newser) – More than 100 men on a drill ship in the Gulf of Mexico say they endured 80-foot waves as Hurricane Ida passed by and are now stranded, with no clue when they'll be rescued. The crew aboard Noble Corporation's Globetrotter II drill ship, about 100 miles off Louisiana, say Noble and its lessee Shell were supposed to send help, but it never arrived, per Fox News. The crew is now desperate. One crew member tells KLFY that the ship is leaning and taking on water at the rear and it's "too dangerous" to go out on deck because "there's stuff everywhere—broken cranes, electrical wires, chemicals."

"We had 60-80 foot seas that we were getting hit with, so the boat was sideways, getting pretty much capsized in the water," says the anonymous man, who shared photos of huge sets of lockers and gym equipment overturned. "Some way, somehow we didn't flip." But "I was watching grown men with life jackets hold on for dear life crying in the hallway." Noble and Shell only reached out about a rescue on the day the storm hit, at which point it was "too late," the man adds, noting the companies have not remained in contact. "We don't know what’s going on—if help's coming or when it's coming." Meanwhile, "we're in the living quarters just like prisoners."

Shell—which is leasing the ship for $275,000 a day over several years, per Bloomberg—tells KLFY that four injured crew members were rescued Tuesday and the company is looking for a spot to land a helicopter to relieve those remaining. Noble tells Fox News that the ship "continues to operate on its own power with functional marine and safety systems." It adds the "heli-deck is fully operational, and helicopter transportation will resume" when charter service picks back up in Ida-ravaged areas inland. "In the meantime, emergency helicopter transportation off of the rig is available should it be required." (Read more Hurricane Ida stories.)

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