Coast Guard Foundation honors members for rescue on burning rig

(STONINGTON, Conn.) — The Coast Guard Foundation, a nonprofit organization committed to strengthening the Coast Guard community and service by supporting members and families, honored a helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston on Nov. 4 at the Texas Salutes the Coast Guard event in Houston.

Coast Guard Sector Houston-Galveston command center watch standers received notification at 12:51 p.m. on Feb. 24 that Pride Wisconsin, a mobile offshore drilling unit, was on fire in Sabine Pass with nine people aboard. The Coast Guard watch standers immediately issued an urgent marine information broadcast to alert nearby vessels and dispatched a response boat crew from Coast Guard Station Sabine Pass, as well as a MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Houston, to assist.

U.S. Coast Guard photo

With the rig’s deck too high for a surface evacuation, the helicopter crew lowered a rescue swimmer to the rig and began hoisting the crewmembers. Despite the fire and smoke, the crew safely hoisted all nine crewmembers and transported them to a nearby rig that was accessible by land. This allowed the survivors to be evaluated by emergency medical services personnel ashore.

Major sponsors of the Texas Salutes the Coast Guard event, now in its seventh year, included Cheniere Energy, ConocoPhillips, Kirby Corp., Marathon Petroleum, Chevron Corp. and SeaRiver Maritime. The foundation is also grateful for the generosity of all sponsors and attendees who helped raise more than $763,000 for foundation programs that support the Coast Guard, its members and their families.

To watch a video about the dramatic rescue, click here.

– Coast Guard Foundation

By Rich Miller