Mile-Long Oil Sheen Is Spreading From Burning Oil Platform, Coast Guard Says
GRAND ISLE, La. — A mile-long sheen is now visible where an
offshore petroleum platform exploded and burned Thursday off Louisiana,
the Coast Guard said.
The Coast Guard said no one was killed in the explosion, which was
spotted by a commercial helicopter flying over the site Thursday morning
at about 9 a.m. CDT.
All 13 people aboard the rig were found floating in the water in
survival gear called "gumby suits", sticking close together, Coast Guard
spokesman Chief Petty Officer John Edwards said.
"These guys had the presence of mind, used their training to get into
those gumby suits before they entered the water. It speaks volumes to
safety training and the importance of it because beyond getting off the
rig there's all the hazards of the water such as hypothermia and things
of that nature," Edwards said.
The platform was in about 340 feet of water, considered shallow water
and far less than the roughly 5,000 feet where BP's well spewed oil and
gas for three months after an April rig explosion.
The crew were rescued from the water by an offshore service vessel,
the Crystal Clear, and taken to a nearby platform, said Coast Guard
Cmdr. Cheri Ben-Eisai.
All were being flown to a hospital in Houma to be checked over.
Ben-Eisai said one person was injured, but the platform's owner,
Houston-based Mariner Energy, Inc., said there were no injuries.