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VIDEO: Coast Guard Rescues 9 Workers From Rig Fire Off Texas Coast

A coordinated effort from multiple agencies ensured the workers were quickly brought to safety and the fire was contained.

The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued nine workers from a rig fire off the coast of Texas.

The rescue operation took place off the coast of Sabine Pass, a neighborhood in the Texas city of Port Arthur on Feb. 24.

Crew members on an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter of U.S. Coast Guard (USCG) Air Station Houston carried out a search-and-rescue operation and successfully airlifted nine uninjured workers to safety.

A motorist called 911 around 12:35 p.m. to report the fire on the Pride Wisconsin, a mobile offshore drilling unit off the coast of Sabine Pass, according to the Jefferson County Sheriff’s Office.

The statement on social media noted that first responders arrived on the scene to find that nine workers were trapped on the upper platform of the burning rig, which had been completing a salvage operation.

The Port Arthur Fire Department requested further assistance, and a coordinated effort by multiple agencies was put into motion, under the USCG Sector Houston command center. Assessments were gathered by officials on the ground, water and air and relayed to USCG.

A fire broke out on a rig in Sabine Pass, Texas, on Feb. 24. Nine workers were trapped on the platform and needed to be rescued. (DVIDS, U.S. Coast Guard District 8/Zenger)

USCG officials said they were informed of the fire on the Pride Wisconsin by the dredging vessel Ohio at 12:51 p.m.

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter and a 45-foot Response Boat were immediately dispatched to the scene to rescue survivors.

Rescuers were lowered from the helicopter to help hoist the workers to a nearby rig that was accessible by land. Part of the rescue was filmed by officials at the scene, showing a rescuer being lowered onto the rig’s upper platform from the helicopter.

After being transferred to the other rig, the nine workers were checked by waiting paramedics.

Multiple agencies coordinated efforts under the U.S. Coast Guard command center to rescue the trapped workers. (DVIDS, U.S. Coast Guard District 8/Zenger)
A Coast Guard Air Station Houston MH-65 Dolphin aircrew conducts a search-and-rescue operation for crew members aboard a rig on fire in Sabine Pass, Texas, on Feb. 24. (DVIDS, U.S. Coast Guard District 8/Zenger)

The authorities confirmed that no one was injured, and there are no signs of sea pollution at the site of the blazing rig.

As the platform is inaccessible, firefighters were unable to put out the smoldering fire. The Port Arthur Fire Department said they would remain at the scene until confirming the blaze has burned out.

“Thanks to the phenomenal teamwork and coordination by everyone involved, nine lives were saved,” said USCG mission coordinator Keith Donohue. “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 fire is still under investigation.

Edited by Siân Speakman and Kristen Butler

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