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Divers rescue FPSO Kwame Nkrumah worker who fell in ocean

BY: Dotsey Koblah Aklorbortu
The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah
The FPSO Kwame Nkrumah

A  Sub-contractor working with Tullow Oil Ghana on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah escaped death after he fell from the massive vessel into the high current waters of the Atlantic Ocean in the oil exploration enclave offshore Jubilee Cape Three Points last Tuesday.

The cause of the incident was not immediately known.

It took the swift action of divers, whose rescue operation took less then 10 minutes, to pull the man, who is a sub-contractor on board the FPSO, from the water.

The managers of the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, MODEC Ghana Limited, and the Jubilee lead operator, Tullow Oil Ghana, said operations offshore Jubilee were not negatively impacted by the act and that all activities were continuing as normal.

Subcontractor

A source on the production platform told the Daily Graphic yesterday that the man, whose name and other details were being protected, was a contractor working on the FPSO.

It said at the time the man, believed to be a South African,  fell from the vessel, he was in full personal protective clothing, including his life jacket.

At that particular moment an ocean-going tanker was preparing for off-loading.

“Even though his action was not the best for industry, he did not show any sign of depression,” the source said.

It explained that at the time the man fell into the sea about 2:22 p.m., the current was not that high, compared to earlier in the day, and that he was also not able to remove the safety ring before rescuers got to him.

Acknowledgement

Commenting on the incident, Tullow acknowledged the fact that it did take place.

It said in a statement that it occurred on the production platform last Tuesday afternoon.

“Tullow Ghana Limited (TGL), operator of the Jubilee Field, is aware of a man overboard incident offshore on the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah at 14:25 hours on Tuesday, June 18, 2019,” it said.

The individual involved, it said, was a sub-contractor and that full emergency response procedures were activated, leading to the rescue of the contractor at 14:33 hours.

The man, the statement continued, initially received emergency treatment before being moved to the shore and was subsequently being managed by a medical team in Accra.

 “There was no injury following medical assessment and Tullow and MODEC Ghana Limited have contacted all relevant authorities,” it indicated.

“The safety and the security of all our people offshore and onshore are of utmost priority to Tullow. The company continues to observe key safety measures,” the statement concluded.

Background

Since its commission, the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah has seen some few incidents on the platform.

This is the second time a sub-contractor of the FPSO decided to act contrary to the safety protocols of an oil and gas production platform, which is considered to be a very dangerous environment.

In October 2014, indigenous workers of MODEC Ghana Limited, the company that operates and manages the FPSO Kwame Nkrumah, embarked on a sit-down strike to press home their demand for better conditions of service.

The action consequently disrupted oil production on the Jubilee Field.

The protesters, numbering about 40, said they worked in the same environment as their expatriate colleagues who had far better working conditions.