Rowan Companies, Inc. reports that apparently the Rowan Houston was involved in a collision resulting in the rig sinking. The Rowan-Houston was jacked up in 105 feet of water in Ship Shoal Block 207 adjacent to a production platform when the accident occurred. On October 1, the rig was secured and evacuated for Hurricane Lili, and the hull was 63 feet above the water. On October 4, portions of the rig, including the hull, were located approximately 1,750 feet northwest of the pre-storm location. Underwater surveys conducted on October 5 and 6 confirmed that the stern of the rig's hull was resting on the bottom of the Gulf of Mexico, with the bow elevated at approximately 30 degrees. The legs, which were severed below the hull, remain elevated at the original location. The port side of the hull near the bow is severely damaged, indicating a collision had occurred.
Currently, the company is formulating a plan for wreckage removal, investigating the cause of the collision and preparing for the anticipated litigation.