SKU: 9781554390038.
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Amazing Stories: Rescues on the High Seas


Tales of survival, hope and bravery

A wild and stormy ocean is not a friendly place to be, but for some this is their place of work. In extreme conditions, waves larger than houses can rip oil rigs apart and send them to the bottom of the ocean leaving survivors in desperate need. The response of search and rescue teams in times of danger is marked by courage and fierce determination. And it results in some terrifying stories.

  • ISBN: 9781554390038
  • Author: Mark Chatham
  • Pages: 144
  • Ages: 12+, Adult

Tales of survival, hope and bravery


Deep into the shift, it was the "mudman" on the oil rig Vinland who first realized something was awry. Responsible for circulating mud into the gas well to control the pressure, he noticed an alarming amount of mud coming back up, and he couldn't control the flow. The rig was parked 16 kilometres northeast of Sable Island, and this particular test well had been difficult, giving "kicks" of back pressure when the drillers had hit a couple of small gas pockets, but they had always coped and were never in danger. Earlier that day, the drillers had sealed the bottom of the well two kilometres below the seabed using a steel plug topped with concrete. The drillers had also circulated mud through the hole to equalize the pressure and hold the plug in place. Their efforts weren't enough. The extreme gas pressure punched the plug free and started a disastrous sequence of events, despite the drillers' frantic attempts to solve the problem. The well now acted like a howitzer. The expanding gas shot the plug up the bore of the well like an artillery round. The oil rig and its crew of 76 were directly in the line of fire. Hitting the ocean floor, the plug ploughed along the flexible hose that connected the wellhead on the seabed to the rig. At exactly 10:02 p.m., the mass of mud and gas slammed into the drill floor of the rig with enough impact to tear the six-ton turntable from its moorings, jamming it half a metre above its normally seated position while gas vented and mud gushed into the cold night air. One spark and the rig could explode and burn to the waterline.

Weight 0.12 kg
Dimensions 21.6 × 14 × 1.1 cm


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