Man claims to find oil rig pieces near Horn Island - - The News for South Mississippi

Man claims to find oil rig pieces near Horn Island

(Photo source: Captain John Ludwig) (Photo source: Captain John Ludwig)

By Krystal Allan – bio | email

ST. MARTIN, MS (WLOX) - Captain John Ludwig travels the country as a commercial salvager. He owns Mitchell Marine out of St. Martin. His salvage yard is home to some of the items he's found in the open waters. Ludwig believes his latest find could be connected to sunken Deepwater Horizon oil rig.

"I came across a tank in a cage about 15 feet long and eight feet in diameter," Ludwig said.

Ludwig said he came across a large pressure vessel that looked as if it had been burned under high heat. But Ludwig didn't immediately make the connection to the oil rig explosion.

"I recognized it as a tank, and I thought it might be a chamber, a dive chamber. I'm familiar with that type of work, and I was hoping that wasn't the case. We came upon it and I saw liquid nitrogen on the side of it."

Ludwig said he recognized the vessel as an item commonly used in an oil field. Because liquid nitrogen was involved, Ludwig said he wasted no time calling the Coast Guard. But it wouldn't be the last call he'd make.

"An hour or so later, I found a second tank identical to the first one and I called that one in also. It's pretty obvious there's a connection [to the oil rig] with the intense heat on the top and the style of tank that's used in the oil fields. Unless it was another rig that caught fire and burned recently, it's a dead ringer," Ludwig said.

As this point, the parties involved in the oil rig explosion have yet to confirm what the items could be. BP officials said they took pictures of the debris and talked with the Coast Guard who's overseeing the investigation. As for Transocean, the company that owns the rig, a spokesman said he can't confirm that the items are part of the rig, but can't rule out the possibility either.

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