The U.S. Coast Guard is investigating a lifeboat drill incident that caused two deaths and one serious personal injury on board an offshore production facility in the Gulf of Mexico (GOM). A Shell employee and a contractor with Danos Inc., an oilfield services provider, lost their lives in the incident. The Shell platform fatalities and injury occurred as crewmembers aboard the Shell-operated Auger platform were testing the facility’s lifeboat recovery system and a malfunction occurred, resulting in the loss of two lives and the injury of another.
The Auger has operated since 1994 and is Shell’s largest net GOM producer. In 2010, Shell’s engineers discovered a whole untapped field – called Cardamom – which produces well beyond original expectations.
“The Coast Guard is committed to finding the facts that led to this tragedy,” said Rear Adm. John Nadeau. “Our intent is to ensure the safety and security of the personnel who work on these facilities and to reduce the likelihood that any similar incidents could occur in the future.”
Lifeboat Drill Accidents
Unfortunately, deaths from lifeboat drills and exercises have occurred before in the maritime industry. Though the U.S. Coast Guard and the federal Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE) are still investigating this offshore accident, we suspect they may find faulty equipment, in which case Shell will be liable for these deaths.
Lifeboats are important for safety on large ships, and yet they have caused countless accidents resulting in injuries and deaths. Crewmembers are required to practice these drills regularly, but numerous accidents during these drills have caused injuries and fatalities. Many of these unfortunate incidents could and should have been prevented by better and safer procedures and correctly functioning equipment. If you work aboard a ship with lifeboats and have been injured during a drill, maritime laws protect you and could help provide you with significant financial compensation.
What Can You Do if Your Loved One Was Killed Offshore?
Your family may be entitled to death benefits under the Jones Act if you are injured offshore or killed while working at sea. Although seamen can receive maintenance and cure benefits if injured, there are many other damages they or their families can claim if they are injured or are killed at work. Dax Garza and his team of maritime injury lawyers have pursued and obtained many large awards for injuries and deaths at sea. For a free and confidential consultation, contact us today.