Response to offshore medical call slowed by weather

Ashley Fitzpatrick
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Response to a medical emergency offshore Saturday was hindered by poor weather that would not allow for the evacuation of a worker by helicopter.

The medical emergency involved a worker aboard the supply and service ship Maersk Beater. The worker has since been released from hospital in St. John’s, according to a representative for the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board (CNLOPB).

Getting the worker from the ship to onshore aid was the challenge, running its course Saturday evening.

The crew member was first transferred from the ship to the West Aquarius drill rig, according to sources.

The rig is currently being operated by Statoil and working on the so-called Harpoon well, some 500 kilometres offshore Newfoundland.

Statoil keeps a medic aboard the rig and reported the situation to the CNLOPB at about 1:15 p.m. The medic determined the worker should go ashore for further assessment, according to the CNLOPB rep.

The initial thinking was to send the worker back to shore by helicopter, but the wind was high and the fog rolled in.

“The visibility was very low, so we couldn’t get a helicopter out there,” said Caron Hawco, a spokeswoman for Statoil.

The helicopter was unable to land, according to an update provided to the CNLOPB at about 5 p.m.

The Atlantic Kestrel — another ship servicing the offshore — was sent to pick up the worker.

The stationed medic aboard the West Aquarius decided to make the trip to shore with the worker under care. As a result, the West Aquarius halted all non-essential operations until a replacement medic could be brought back out aboard the rig.

“A replacement medic was transported to the West Aquarius via the vessel MV Chignecto arriving at approximately 6 p.m. last night at which time normal activities resumed,” states a bulletin issued by the CNLOPB this afternoon.



Organizations: Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board, Statoil

Geographic location: West Aquarius

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Recent comments

  • Harold
    April 23, 2013 - 13:26

    corporation and experience results in a good news story. thumbs up guys on a job well done.