A Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin aircrew conducts a search and rescue operation for crew members aboard a jack-up rig on fire in Sabine Pass, Texas, Feb. 24, 2022. U.S. Coast Guard Photo

Nine Airlifted From Burning Jack-up in Dramatic Sabine Pass Rescue

Mike Schuler
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February 24, 2022

The U.S. Coast Guard rescued nine people Thursday from a burning jack-up drilling rig near Sabine Pass, Texas.

Sector Houston-Galveston watchstanders received a notification at 12:51 p.m. from a dredger in the area that the Pride Wisconsin rig was on fire in Sabine Pass with nine people aboard.

Watchstanders issued an urgent marine information broadcast and launched a boat crew from Station Sabine Pass and an Air Station Houston Dolphin helicopter crew to assist. The Port Arthur Fire Department and Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office also responded.

The Dolphin crew arrived on-scene, lowered a rescue swimmer and began hoisting the crewmembers from the deck of the rig. Video of the rescue was streamed live by a local newstation:

Out of view from the camera, the crewmembers were taken by the helicopter to a nearby rig where they were able to meet with emergency medical services personnel.

No injuries were reported and there are no signs of pollution at this time.

The rig appears to be located at the Port City Partners yard on the Sabine-Neches Ship Channel and was obviously jacked up at the time.

The Port Arthur Fire Department will maintain the scene until the fire has burned itself out.

U.S. Coast Guard Photo

“Thanks to the phenomenal teamwork and coordination by everyone involved, nine lives were saved,” said Capt. Keith M. Donohue, search and rescue mission coordinator for the case. “Coast Guard crews and personnel train year-round for life-saving situations like this and we take great pleasure in knowing everyone was able to go home safely.”

The cause of the incident is under investigation. 

Semper paratus!

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