September 7, 2006
Rowan locates wreckage of missing rig
Rowan Companies, Inc. (NYSE:RDC - News) announced today that it has located the wreckage of the Rowan-New Orleans, its LeTourneau 52-class slot jack-up rig which capsized and sank in 155 feet of water in Main Pass Block 185 offshore Louisiana during Hurricane Katrina.
As previously reported, the rig was insured for approximately $1.1 million more than its carrying value. Rowan is currently developing a plan for removal of the wreckage, the cost of which is expected to exceed the company's $5 million annual insurance deductible. Damage to Rowan's other rigs resulting from Hurricane Katrina appears to be minimal.
All offshore personnel had been safely evacuated from the Rowan-New Orleans prior to the storm.
Rowan has many employees who reside in the areas of Louisiana, Mississippi and Alabama that were in the path of Hurricane Katrina.
The company has not been notified of any serious injuries or deaths among its employees resulting from the storm. The majority of Rowan's personnel have indicated they are available to report for work and all of the company's rigs are presently operating.
In recognition of the immediate needs of its employees, Rowan has continued to pay wages for those off work and has otherwise assisted those employees whose lives have been dramatically affected. In addition, the company has made contributions to several charitable organizations that are heavily involved in the relief efforts.
In a reminder of the inherent challenges facing the offshore industry, Rowan Companies, Inc. also reported today that a Sikorsky S-76 helicopter carrying 10 passengers and two crew members crashed in the Gulf of Mexico yesterday afternoon.
All 12 persons aboard, including eight Rowan employees, were rescued last night by the U. S. Coast Guard and transported to nearby hospitals. Six Rowan employees have been treated for minor injuries and released. The other two employees remain hospitalized for treatment and observation. Neither appears to have suffered any life-threatening injuries.
The helicopter had departed Rowan's jack-up rig, the Bob Keller, located in High Island Block 346 at approximately 3:45 PM (CT), en route to the Company's Sabine Pass, Texas facility. At just after 4:00 PM, a distress signal was received by the Federal Aviation Administration. The helicopter was found approximately 23 miles south of Sabine Pass.
According to a U.S. Coast Guard statement, The watchstander at Coast Guard Group Galveston received a call at 7:19 p.m. from Houston Offshore. The report stated that a F-76 helicopter was missing. Onboard were a pilot, a co-pilot and 10 passengers.
An HU-25 Falcon jet from Air Station Corpus Christi, two HH-65B Dolphin helicopters from Air Station Houston and two 87-foot patrol boats, the Manowar and Skipjack, from Galveston were immediately dispatched to search for the missing helicopter.
At 9:30 p.m. the crew of an HH-65B Dolphin helicopter located 12 people in the water 23 miles south of Sabine. The 12 were safely rescued and transported to the Southeast Texas Medical Center in Sabine. Two were in critical condition. All had chemical burns from the helicopter fuel.
The offshore supply boat Warrior was in the area and provided rescue assistance.