Drillship breaks free in high winds, hits bulker in Pascagoula

(NEW ORLEANS) — The U.S. Coast Guard responded to a collision between two vessels Saturday morning near the VT Halter Marine shipyard and Chevron docks in Pascagoula, Miss.

At approximately 1:30 a.m., Coast Guard Sector Mobile watch standers received a report from the National Response Center of a collision between two vessels. Valaris, a 752-foot drillship, reportedly broke free of its moorings due to high winds and collided with Akti, a bulk carrier.

The drillship Valaris, right, sits up against the bulk carrier Akti on Saturday in Pascagoula, Miss. U.S. Coast Guard photo

Valaris was reported to have approximately 580,000 gallons of diesel on board the vessel. After the breakaway, the drillship was anchored against Akti while being held in place by three tugboats. Both vessels reportedly sustained minor damage, with some damage to the pier.

Coast Guard Sector Mobile sent three prevention team members to monitor the situation. There have been no reports of injuries or pollution.

The channel was previously closed due to weather.

– U.S. Coast Guard

By Rich Miller