USCG starts formal investigation of fatal Augur lifeboat incident

Written by Nick Blenkey
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When installed in 1994, Augur as world's first TLP

Rear Adm. John Nadeau, who recently took command of the Eighth Coast Guard District in New Orleans, convened a formal investigation last week into a fatal incident that occurred onboard Shell’s Augur deep water production facility June 30, 2019.

Crew members aboard the Auger were testing the facility’s lifeboat recovery system when a malfunction occurred.

In the process of retrieving the lifeboat, while the lifeboat was level with the facility’s loading deck and personnel were transitioning from the lifeboat back onto the facility, an incident occurred causing the lifeboat and personnel to fall approximately 75 feet to the water.

The world’s first tension leg platform (TLP), Auger is located 210 miles southwest of New Orleans in 839 meters of water and was originally installed in 1994 as a drilling platform. Since 2010 it has been used as a production facility.

“The Coast Guard is committed to finding the facts that led to this tragedy,” said Nadeau. “Our intent is to ensure the safety and security of the personnel who work on these facilities and to reduce the likelihood that any similar incidents could occur in the future.”

The Coast Guard’s Eighth District is responsible for ensuring that firefighting, life-saving and stability systems are operational onboard oil production facilities in the Gulf of Mexico.

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