The Coast Guard responded with multiple air and sea assets on Sunday to reports that an oil production platform caught fire approximately 50 miles off Grand Isle in the Gulf of Mexico-- rescuing the two individuals who were on board the platform at the time of the fire.
An MH65-C rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans hoisted the two men from the deck of a good Samaritan vessel, the HDS Stormridge, after they were recovered from a life capsule they used to escape from the fire on board the GI 102A oil production platform.
At about 8 a.m., Central Standard Time, Coast Guard watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District were notified by workers aboard the Grand Isle Block 115 platform that the GI 102A production platform, owned by Arena, was reportedly on fire.
Arena reports the platform had been shut in two weeks ago and was not producing product at the time of the incident. Bureau of Oceans and Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement has personnel en route to verify the status of the wells and the platform, as well as investigate the cause of the fire.
The two people recovered are en route to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero.
The fire is reportedly out. Fire fighting assets, hired by Arena and under the direction of CAPT Cameron Hudson of the motor vessel Starfleet Viking, are on scene and continue to provide a fire watch in case of re-flash. Coast Guard air assets conducting overflights have not observed any pollution at this time.
The Coast Guard has established a 1,000 yard security zone around the platform. There is also a temporary flight restriction 5 nautical miles around the platform and up to 5,000 feet.
Assets initially launched to the report include:
The Grand Isle 102A Platform is a 24-hour manned platform and is considered a major complex by the BOEMRE. Located in approximately 260' of water, the complex was installed in February 1994. Arena Offshore took over ownership in early 2010 from ENI Petroleum. Latest production figures show that the platform produced 16,404 barrels of oil in December 2010.
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