2013 July 23, Tuesday
Gulf of Mexico, 100 nm south of New Orleans, LA
News came to us just as we landed from a picturesque six-hour flight on the Sabine River between Texas and Louisiana tracking endangered swallow-tailed kites: the Hercules Offshore drilling platform #265 located about 100 nm south of New Orleans had experienced a blowout this morning around 10am CDT. Lifeboats were used to evacuate 44 workers, none of whom experienced serious injuries. We flew out there at around 2pm and found only about a mile of very light surface sheen to the east of the platform, which would support public statements that "only" natural gas is leaking at this time.
The rest of the facts will become clearer shortly, but for now, here are our photos from the site as of this afternoon. Stay tuned for our high-definition video to be uploaded shortly. As always, our high-resolution photos and videos are available for all uses whose intent is to benefit the Gulf of Mexico and her life.
Special thanks today to Peter Valdez, pilot and employee of Flightline First at New Orleans' Lakefront Airport, for joining us on this spur-of-the-moment flight and helping both with photography and flying!