A Jack-Up gas rig collapsed earlier today about 20 miles south of Dauphin Island, sending 19 people into the chilly waters of the Gulf of Mexico. Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Gabe Solomon in Mobile said a distress call was received this morning about 5 a.m. from the vessel Luke David. He said the agency dispatched two helicopters and a rescue boat based in Mobile and New Orleans. The rescue boat recovered ten people from the water shortly before 7 a.m. A second vessel, the Gulf Rambler recovered the remaining nine workers a short time later.
Officials said six people were hurt, their injuries included hypothermia and broken bones. The injured are being treated at two Mobile-area hospitals. Their names and medical conditions were unavailable. The Coast Guard has determined that a leg of the rig collapsed in heavy seas that were reported to be eight feet high with winds gusts of 25 knots. Solomon said the accident is being investigated by the Marine Safety Office in Mobile.