An employee in any occupation or facility who encounters a blaze may be in danger, but as seamen in New York probably know, the chance of injuries from a fire while on the ocean may be much greater. In addition to the possibility of being burned, there is a risk of drowning during the effort to escape. When working with highly flammable substances such as oil, the hazards climb even more.
After attempting to put out a fire on the oil production platform where they were employed, heavy smoke led crew members to abandon the structure by way of lifeboat and seek help. A vessel in the Gulf of Mexico was able to rescue the four workers. The Coast Guard reported that it took nearly four hours and the efforts of the people aboard four vessels and an airplane to extinguish the fire.
The platform, which is located approximately 80 miles off the coast of Southern Louisiana, did not appear to develop any leaks that would cause pollution, and authorities reported that none of the workers were injured. Workers were evacuated from a second platform owned by the same company after taking the wells out of production. Inspection of the area is ongoing.
Proper training and safety equipment, along with a timely rescue, may prevent a catastrophe on the ocean from turning deadly. Companies must comply with standards and regulations for their employees’ safety. A seaman or maritime construction worker who is injured in an accident may benefit from talking to a maritime accident attorney.
Source: ABC News, “Coast Guard: Fire Extinguished on Platform in Gulf of Mexico,” Jeff Martin and Michael Kunzelman, Jan. 5, 2017