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Evacuation and Rescue Measures After an Explosion at Sea

When danger looms over an oil rig or an emergency situation has occurred, the reactions of crewmembers could mean the difference between life and death. Coordinating a plan of evacuation and what rescue efforts will follow an explosion can reduce panic and increase efficiency in the heated moment of an intense situation. While explosions occur and can quickly send an oil rig into an emergency situation, rigs are evacuated much more frequently for adverse weather conditions, such as hurricanes. Many of the evacuation procedures remain the same for either situation.

Drill sites typically implement a safety plan, which includes certain elements:

  • Designation of zones
  • Safety equipment requirements
  • Access and check-in points
  • Safety channel on radios
  • Alarm protocol
  • Medical services
  • Monitoring services available for environment
  • Safety drills and meeting schedules

All of these elements help keep crewmembers informed of relevant safety topics in the case of an emergency. For instance, knowing how to contact other crewmembers via radio during an evacuation could prove essential.

Rescue Efforts After an Oil Rig Explosion

In an emergency situation, helicopters are the preferred method of transportation. When immediate evacuation does not leave time for this option, crewmembers will likely employ the use of life jackets and lifeboats to safely exit the rig, which can provide essential assistance in keeping crewmembers afloat if they are forced into the water. Many companies require that workers be trained in life boat "free fall" exercises, as this is the method of deployment for boats during an emergency evacuation.

In the event of an incident, the U.S. Coast Guard will often aid in rescue efforts, using helicopters and maritime craft to locate personnel and retrieve them from nearby waters. Rescue teams can use technology such as night-vision goggles and heat-sensitive radar to detect survivors when searching the area.

If safety methods are overlooked during a critical situation, or crewmembers are not trained in emergency protocol, the damage caused by an oil rig explosion can be disastrous and cause unnecessary harm. If you or a family member has been hurt through inadequate rescue efforts or safety measures, you may be able to seek compensation with the help of Arnold & Itkin. Our oil rig explosion attorneys represented over two dozen of the rig workers who were injured during the Deepwater Horizon rig explosion in 2010. Contact us today to learn how we can help you.

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