We’ve received a report in confidence regarding a crane boom failure on an offshore rig leading to one fatality and another person still missing.
On 20th February a crew on the jack-up rig Rowan Gorilla IV in the Gulf of Mexico was installing ropes in preparation for re-entry into a well in the Blackbeard Prospect.
A personnel basket was attached to the rig crane and lifted with one person on board. He was tied off to the basket so he could hang off a boat rope on the side of the rig.
As the basket was being lifted, the book of the crane failed and fell on the deck. The large block hit a crewman who subsequently died. The basket went over the side with the passenger still tied on and sank. The body of the missing man was recovered the next afternoon.
At the time of the incident, the crane was secured by the brake in the up-right position with the boom several feet from the stop pads. The operator was standing near the controls, not operating the crane, when suddenly the boom collapsed.
One of the Gorilla IV cranes with boom in place
Crane with failed boom
Close up of part of the failed boom
Investigations are continuing. Since the incident the maximum lifting capacity of the rig cranes has been reduced to 85 per cent.
Following a Coast Guard inspection.One of the rigs life capsules was damaged in the incident and has been replace, as has a second capsule that was considered to be in questionable condition.