Drillship crew in Gulf says they were not evacuated for Hurricane Ida, still stranded with no rescue in sight

Louisiana

GULF OF MEXICO (KLFY) — Over 100 men are stranded on a drillship after suffering through Hurricane Ida while in the Gulf of Mexico.

They say the companies who were supposed to evacuate them before the storm hit never did.

Crew members on Noble’s Globetrotter II drillship saw they were forced to ride out horror-filled hours of Hurricane Ida on the ship in the Gulf of Mexico over 100 miles from Louisiana’s shore.

A crew member, who is choosing to stay anonymous, says they’re still stuck on the ship and don’t know when help is coming.

They say Noble Corporation and Shell were supposed to evacuate them. They never did.

A crew member tells News Ten their ship nearly capsized.

It’s taking in water now, it’s leaning, and they’re still out there. However, they have no idea when they’re going to be rescued.

“I mean I was watching grown men with life jackets hold on for dear life crying in the hallway. It was bad,” the anonymous crew member said.

He says 80-foot waves and 150 miles an hour winds slammed their ship for hours.

These pictures show overturned lockers and gym equipment in the ship.

“Being on the top deck, you can look through the glass and see the bottom of the rig at certain points in time. We had 60-80 foot seas that we were getting hit with, so the boat was sideways, getting pretty much capsized in the water. Someway, somehow we didn’t flip,” he said.

He says Noble Corporation, who owns the drillship, and Shell, who Noble is under contract with, waited until the morning the hurricane hit to attempt evacuations.

“They got with us too late. We tried to run away, but it was right on our tail. There was no running from it, so we got hit with the full force,” he told News Ten.

He says somehow only four people were injured.

“It was a nightmare,” he said. “God saved us all.”

After Hurricane Ida passed, they realized they had another problem on their hands.

“We’re still out here. We have no clue when we’re getting off of here. We can’t go outside. It’s too dangerous out there. There’s stuff everywhere- broken cranes, electrical wires, chemicals,” he said.

“We’re in the living quarters just like prisoners, just stuck in the living quarters.”

What’s even worse, he says, is that Shell and Noble aren’t staying in contact with them on the ship.

“Nobody’s telling us anything. I know we’re taking in water in the back, and we don’t know what’s going on- if helps coming or when it’s coming.”

He says right now they’re just waiting on rescue.

“I know we ain’t gonna be out of here today. I pray to God we’re out of here by tomorrow, but I don’t see that happening either,” he said.

“We just want people to know that there’s a serious situation out here.”

News Ten did reach out to Shell Tuesday afternoon.

A spokesperson said they can confirm that four people with injuries as a result of the storm were evacuated from the ship for medical evaluation Tuesday afternoon.

As for the remaining crew, which is over 100 people, Shell said they are establishing a place to land helicopters to they can change out their crews in the days ahead. They did not give a specific day.

News Ten also reached out to Noble Corporation, who owns the drillship, and asked why the crew members were not evacuated in the days before Hurricane Ida hit.

A Noble spokesperson told News Ten the vessel’s heli-deck is fully operational, and helicopter transportation will resume as charter service from hurricane-affected areas allow.

Another crew member onboard the Noble Globetrotter II drillship tells News Ten he believes people were left aboard the vessel and left in harm’s way for no other reason than the expense of removing them and bringing them back once operations were ready to continue.

He added that they are still on the ship waiting for anyone to come and bring them home.

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