Friday, September 12, 2008

Oh no ...

22 people are stuck on a freighter in the Gulf of Mexico. Nobody can rescue them because of the conditions.

From KansasCity.com:

Ike's 105-mph winds and potential 50-foot waves initially stopped the Coast Guard from attempting a risky helicopter rescue of 22 people aboard a 584-foot freighter that broke down in the path of the storm about 90 miles southeast of Galveston, Chief Petty Officer Mike O'Berry said. The ship was hauling petroleum coke used to fuel furnaces at steel plants.

But midday Friday, the Coast Guard changed its mind and decided to stage a rescue. Petty Officer Tom Atkeson said rescue swimmers and Coast Guard and Air Force aircraft were on their way to reach the ship.

They have since aborted the rescue attempt.

The Cyprus-flagged freighter Antalina issued a distress call around 0900 GMT after it lost propulsion 90 miles (145 kilometers) southeast of Galveston, Coast Guard Petty Officer Tom Atkeson told AFP by phone from Texas. (Source: Africasia.com)

The crew cannot anchor the ship because they are in deep waters. According to a transmission CNN earlier played from the captain, the freighter is on buoys.

Also in jeopardy are the petrochemical plants and oil refineries in Houston. Someone just said that one quarter of the country's gasoline supply is refined in that area.

This is more scary than Gov. Palin. Just.

3 comments:

Sarah Swart said...

I'm wondering how quickly freighters can move. And when the crew got word that Ike was headed their way. Did these folks count on rescue if necessary, or was there no way they could get out of the hurricane track?
I would agree fully about the dunderheads who stayed behind, EXCEPT: "certain death" (CNN) awaits them? I can't bear another family-dead-in-attic event.

sds said...

hi,

she probably can get up to around 10 knots. from the story they were heading in to shore when the engine broke down so they could not get out of the way.

last thing i heard was that the air force special forces was called in to help (if you didn't know, the AF special forces are considered the best trained of all our military. they go in and get people out).

thanks,
sds

Sarah Swart said...

I heard today that a tug was pulling the vessel to safety. Not sure if the special forces got there first! Also, I hope that the tug didn't hook up to the ship considering that "salvage," as ownership of the vessel may come into question if that is the case.