Key Singapore In Trouble In the Mediterranean Sea
Tuesday, December 04, 2001
An international rescue operation has successfully rescued workers from a jackup sinking in rough seas. A helicopter from an Italian frigate, Aliseo, airlifted to safety all 84 people on board the drilling rig. GlobalSantaFe's jackup, Key Singapore, is sinking in waters between Cyprus and Israel. A distress call was received from the rig on Tuesday. The call asked for helicopters to evacuate the rig after tow-lines securing it to tug boats snapped in the bad weather. Two British helicopters and a Cypriot police helicopter are also involved in the rescue as are two U.S. vessels, one of them being the frigate USS Ross. The rig workers were taken to the Ross, which is now heading to the northern Israeli port of Haifa. The rig was 30 miles off the coast of Israel and 150 miles south-east of Cyprus. Rescue efforts are taking place in very low clouds with rain and high winds and a 27-foot sea swell. The rig was being moving from one drilling site to another off Port Said in Egypt, when it began sinking.