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Oil Rig Sinking

Rescue efforts for the crewmembers of the Russian oil rig that collapsed last week continue, but hopes for survivors of the disaster are quickly fading.  Russian authorities have added more aircraft to search efforts to look for survivors from the rig that collapsed in icy waters.

The loss occurred when the drilling jackup rig Kolskaya with more than 67 crewmembers onboard, capsized and sank off the island of Sakhalin. The collapse occurred in the icy waters of the Sea of Okhotsk, and 14 workers have been rescued. According to reports, the oil rig flipped over, and quickly sank in about 20 minutes. At the time of the sinking, the depth of the water at the scene was about 3,400 feet. The rig was being towed in stormy weather with swells of up to 6 m. So far, 16 bodies have been recovered.

Russia’s federal Investigative Committee has begun investigating the loss. The agency believes that the cause of the collapse was related to shoddy organizing of the towing of the rig. According to investigators, the accident seems to have been a result of violation of safety rules during the towing process, and a result of towing without consideration for weather factors.

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