One Dead, One Missing as Offshore Crane Fails

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.


10 Responses to One Dead, One Missing as Offshore Crane Fails

  1. Debbie Thurman says:

    Could you please send me any further information that you have on this accident? The crewman who was killed on deck was a close family member. We had his funeral last week, but we can’t move on with so many unanswered questions. Thank You.

  2. Jessica says:

    My husband was injured in the accident, just barley got out of the way, and from what we know, they really have no idea what happened.

  3. Michelle says:

    My husband also works on this crew. Very sad~ My heart goes out to the two families. You are in our prayers.

  4. Jessica says:

    It is very sad. My husband & I are also praying for the families everyday. I hope the Lord gives them the peace and closeure they are needing right now.

  5. Debbie says:

    We appreciate your kindness and your prayers. God is still good and all of our trust is in him. We are also praying for the safety of your loved ones.

  6. Steve M. says:

    I am very saddened by this tragedy and my prayers go out to the family members and surviving crew members!

    I am a health & safety professional that works both on shore and off shore with cranes in various capacities. I would also like to know the outcome of this investigation. I have employees that are being lifted by way of billypughs and off shore cranes quite often and if there is something more I can be looking for to avoid another situation such as this from happening again please let me know.

  7. kim says:

    Tywain Watts was one of the crew members that lost his life on that day i am Kim his fiancee’ and i dont think i will ever get over this lost of my best friend he was a wonderful man and father he left 2 beautiful little girls behind whom he loved. He was truly the most kind-hearted man one could ever meet, but i still have questions about the accident i cannot rest until i know could someone please let me know. My prayers continue to go out to the other family and their lost i had the chance of meeting everyone in Houston and i enjoyed the trip not knowing that would be me and Tywain’s last trip together. It hurts so much, but i would feel better knowing exactly what happened. God bless Rowans and thir crew members.

  8. Jessica says:


    My name is Jessica Walker. I am Davey’s wife. He was Tywain’s supervisor. I just want you to know not a day goes by that Davey & I do not think of Tywain, you, and your family. I have been seaching the internet daily, looking for what happened, an accident report, something. If I find something, I will get in touch with you. I can not imagine how much his daughters and you miss him. Davey was not able to go back to work offshore.He thought the world of Tywain, and I’m glad you are not letting him be forgotten. May the Lord be with you & your family.

  9. kim says:

    Thank you Jessica, I awoke this morning with this on my mind and wondered if anyone responded it is good to know someone was and again I thank you for your comment and continue to pray for me and my family because this is a void in our hearts that will never be filled we miss Tywain so much and I will never let him be forgotten. I pray you and your family be blessed for the holidays.

  10. Jessica says:

    I don’t know if you have seen it or not, but I actually have the accident report. If you haven’t seen it, and would like to, this is my email address: I will be praying for you and your family today. I know the next couple of days will be hard. May God bless you, Kim.

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