Outer Continental Shelf National Center of Expertise (OCSNCOE)
OCS-Related Accidents, Investigations and Safety Alerts
This page consolidates information pertaining to OCS-related accidents, investigations and safety alerts. Use the tbs above to view the following categories:
1) U.S. Coast Guard Investigations;
2) National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) Marine Accident reports and Marine Accident Briefings;
3) Safety Alerts (with access to additional USCG and Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) alerts);
4) DEEPWATER HORIZON/Macondo Well Blowout; and
5) FPS AUGER Lifeboat 6.
U.S. Coast Guard Investigation Reports
The U.S. Coast Guard prepares and publishes reports of investigation that present the findings of fact, results of analysis, conclusions, and recommendations of the Coast Guard's investigation of marine casualties, outer continental shelf (OCS) casualties, and commercial diving casualties. This page lists USCG reports that are OCS-related, ordered from newest to oldest (by accident date). Click on the report number to open the document (opens in a new window). Additional investigation and casualty analysis reports are available on the Office of Investigations & Casualty Analysis (CG-INV) Marine Casualty Reports page.
NTSB Marine Accident Reports (MARs) and Marine Accident Briefs (MABs)
National Transportation Safety Board Accident Reports "provide details about the accident, analysis of the factual data, conclusions and the probable cause of the accident, and the related safety recommendations". This page lists NTSB Marine Accident Reports that are OCS-related, ordered from newest to oldest (by accident report number). Click on the report number to open the document (opens in a new window). Additional accident reports and information are available on the NTSB's Accidents Reports page.
Fire aboard OSV GRAND SUN
Summary: On October 8, 2018, about 0215 local time, the offshore supply vessel Grand Sun was transiting the Chandeleur Sound in the Gulf of Mexico, about 15 miles from the Chandeleur Islands, Louisiana, when the vessel caught on fire. The four crewmembers aboard attempted to fight the fire but were unsuccessful. They remained on the stern of the vessel until they were rescued by the US Coast Guard. The fire burned itself out, and the vessel was later towed to port. No pollution or injuries were reported. The vessel, valued at $1.6 million, was deemed a constructive total loss.
Overturning of the Liftboat RAM XVIII
Summary: On November 18, 2018, about 0200 local time, the liftboat Ram XVIII overturned in the Gulf of Mexico, in West Delta block 68, located about 15 miles south-southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana. Five crewmembers and ten offshore workers abandoned the vessel and were rescued. Three personnel suffered minor injuries during the evacuation. An estimated 1,000 gallons of hydraulic oil were released. The vessel was declared a constructive total loss at an estimated $1,140,000.
Collision of OSV GLORIA MAY and Fishing Vessel CAPT LE
Summary: The offshore supply vessel Gloria May collided with the uninspected fishing vessel Capt Le in the Gulf of Mexico about 2040 on the evening of August 24, 2014. As a result of the collision, the hull of the Capt Le was breached and the vessel flooded and sank; the bow of the Gloria May suffered minor damage. Three crewmembers from the Capt Le abandoned their sinking vessel into a liferaft and were recovered by the crew of the Gloria May. No injuries resulted from the accident. Total damage was estimated at $225,000.
Collision between Passenger Vessel DIAMOND EDGE and Liftboat B.W. HALEY
Summary: On March 2, 2015, at 1027 local time, the passenger vessel Diamond Edge and the liftboat-configured offshore supply vessel B.W. Haley collided while under way in dense fog about 55 miles south-southwest of Lafayette, Louisiana.1 As a result of the collision, the hull of the Diamond Edge was breached and the vessel partially sank. There were no significant injuries or pollution reported. Estimated damage exceeded $1.75 million for both vessels combined.
Allision of OSV CONNOR BORDELON with Unmanned Platform South Timbalier 271A
Summary: On January 23, 2015, at 0432 central standard time, the offshore supply vessel Connor Bordelon struck the unmanned natural gas platform South Timbalier 271A, which was located about 5.25 miles south of the jetty channel entrance at the vessel’s home port of Port Fourchon, Louisiana. The allision caused the pipelines attached to the platform to rupture and the natural gas and oil inside the pipelines to ignite. After the allision, the pipelines were shut down, and three good Samaritan vessels in the area applied water to put out the fire. The allision also caused a breach in the Connor Bordelon’s hull below the waterline, and the vessel began taking on water. The captain contacted the US Coast Guard to report the accident, and the Coast Guard released the Connor Bordelon from the accident area and allowed it to continue to Port Fourchon while the crew addressed the flooding. None of the 24 persons aboard the vessel were injured.
Allision of OSV TRISTAN JANICE with Natural Gas Platform
Summary: About 0712 local time on February 18, 2014, the US-registered offshore supply vessel Tristan Janice allided with a natural gas production platform in the northern Gulf of Mexico, about 54 miles south-southwest of Houma, Louisiana. No one was injured and no water pollution resulted from the allision. However, the vessel and the platform sustained about $545,000 in total damage, and a substantial amount of natural gas escaped into the atmosphere from a ruptured supply pipe.
Subsea Pipeline Damage by Tug and Barge VALIANT/EVERGLADES
Summary: The articulated tug and barge (ATB) unit Valiant/Everglades lost propulsion and drifted to within about 20 yards of the East Cameron (EC) 321A production platform in the Gulf of Mexico, forcing the shutdown of the platform and evacuation of its 35 crewmembers about 0600 on November 17, 2014. The captain of the Valiant ordered the anchor dropped to slow the vessel until propulsion was restored, and in the process of backing away, the anchor ruptured a subsea pipeline, causing an estimated $2 million in damage and the release of a total of about 249,800 mcf of natural gas. 1 Neither the platform nor the vessel was damaged, and no one was injured.
Fire on Board Saturation Diving Support Vessel OCEAN PATRIOT
Summary: A fire that broke out in the forward machinery space of the saturation diving support vessel Ocean Patriot while under way in the Gulf of Mexico on the evening of November 28, 2013, was brought under control by the vessel’s fixed fire suppression system without serious injury, and no pollution resulted from the accident. Damage to the Ocean Patriot was estimated to be $9.8 million.
Allision and Sinking of Offshore Supply Vessel CELESTE ANN
Summary: The offshore supply vessel Celeste Ann was receiving passengers from West Delta oil platform 73 about 20 nautical miles southeast of Grand Isle, Louisiana, when the vessel allided with the platform about 0836 on June 14, 2013. The allision punctured the hull, and the Celeste Ann subsequently flooded and sank. All passengers and crew evacuated to another vessel, and no one was injured.
Sinking of Offshore Supply Vessel RICKY B
Summary: On May 30, 2013, at 0702 central daylight time, the offshore supply vessel Ricky B sank in the Gulf of Mexico about 24 nm south of Marsh Island, Louisiana, while being towed. The three crewmembers had abandoned the Ricky B earlier and boarded a good samaritan vessel, from which they were subsequently transferred to a nearby manned oil platform. No one was injured. The Ricky B was later refloated. Its damage was estimated to be $520,000.
Fire On Board and Sinking of Liftboat MAKO
Summary: About 0503 on January 16, 2012, the US liftboat Mako caught fire while supporting oil drilling operations about 6 miles off the coast of Nigeria, Africa. No one on board was injured, but the Mako was a total loss in the accident.
Collision of Oil Tanker FR8 PRIDE with MODU ROWAN EXL I
Summary: On May 2, 2012, at 0718, the oil tanker FR8 Pride collided with the mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) Rowan EXL I in Aransas Pass, Corpus Christi, Texas. No one was injured in the collision, but the two vessels sustained an estimated $16–17 million in damage.
Liftboat TRINITY II, Personnel Abandonment and Loss of Life
Excerpt from abstract: This report discusses the September 8, 2011, accident involving the U.S. Liftboat Trinity II. Ten persons were on board. Because of severe weather and boarding seas associated with Hurricane Nate, the elevated liftboat’s stern jacking leg failed and the onboard personnel abandoned the vessel. Four of them died.
ROWAN GORILLA I, Capsizing and Sinking
Excerpt from abstract: This report explains the sinking of the mobile offshore drilling unit ROWAN GORILLA I on December 15, 1988, in the North Atlantic Ocean. The safety issues discussed are the vessel's design and stability, vessel towing, weather, lifesaving equipment stowage, survival capsule design, survival training, and manning and licensing requirements.
GLOMAR ARCTIC II, Explosion and Fire
Excerpt from abstract: On January 15, 1985, the U.S. semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) GLOMAR ARCTIC II was conducting well testing operations 130 nautical miles east-southeast of Aberdeen, Scotland, in the North Sea. About 2030, the drilling unit experienced an explosion in the port pontoon pump room. The chief engineer and third assistant engineer were killed in the blast. Damage to the drilling vessel was estimated to be $2.3 million dollars.
ZAPATA LEXINGTON, Explosion and Fire
Excerpt from abstract: About 1230 on September 14, 1984, the U.S.-flag mobile offshore drilling unit (MODU) ZAPATA LEXINGTON suffered an explosion and fire while moored and conducting drilling operations in 1,465 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. The accident occurred while procedures were being employed to evacuate a gas bubble from the subsea blowout preventer stack on the sea floor. Instead, gas trapped in the blowout preventer entered the base of the marine riser, rose to the surface, and escaped into the atmosphere, expelling a large volume of drilling mud out of the riser. The gas infiltrated the areas above and below the drill floor at the base of the derrick and was ignited. The explosion and fire that followed resulted in the deaths of four persons and severe injuries to three persons. Sixty-four persons abandoned the MODU using two survival capsules and three inflatable liferafts. The gas fire burned itself out about 30 minutes after the rig was evacuated. The cost of repairs was estimated at $12 million.
GLOMAR JAVA SEA, Capsizing and Sinking
Excerpt from abstract: About 2355 on October 25, 1983, the 400-foot-long United Stated drillship GLOMAR JAVA SEA capsized and sank during Typhoon LEX in the South China Sea about 65 nautical miles south-southwest of Hainan Island, People's Republic of China. Of the 81 persons who were aboard, 35 bodies have been located, and the remaining 46 persons are missing and presumed dead. The GLOMAR JAVA SEA currently is resting on the bottom of the sea in an inverted position in about 315 feet of water; its estimated value was $35 million.
OCEAN RANGER, Capsizing and Sinking
Excerpt from abstract: About 0300 on February 15, 1982, the U.S. mobile offshore drilling unit OCEAN RANGER capsized and sank during a severe storm about 166 nautical miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada; 84 persons were aboard. Twenty-two bodies have been recovered, and the remaining 62 persons are missing and presumed dead. The OCEAN RANGER currently is resting in an inverted position in about 260 feet of water; its value was estimated at $125 million.
OCEAN EXPRESS, Capsizing and Sinking
Excerpt from abstract: About 1100 c.s.t. on April 14, 1976, the self-elevating drilling unit OCEAN EXPRESS departed a drilling site in the Gulf of Mexico under tow for a new drilling site about 33 nm away. The OCEAN EXPRESS arrived at the new drilling site about 2330, but was not set in place because of adverse seas. Three tugs held the OCEAN EXPRESS in position awaiting better weather, but the seas continued to increase. On April 15, 1976, one tug's starboard reduction gear failed, and another tug's towline broke. With only one effective tug remaining, the OCEAN EXPRESS turned broadside to the wind and seas, drifted, grounded, capsized, and sank about 2115. Thirteen persons drowned in a capsized survival capsule.
OCS-related safety alerts issued by the U.S. Coast Guard are listed in the table below. Additional safety alerts can be viewed on the following pages:
DEEPWATER HORIZON - Macondo Well Blow-Out
Oil Spill Commission Action (oscaction.org)
AUGER Lifeboat No. 6