November 25, 2023 | Susan Napier-Sewell

Remembering an Accident: Bohai 2 Oil Rig Disaster

Bohai 2 Oil Rig

A fatal accident — the Bohai 2 Oil Rig disaster — happened in the Gulf of Bohai, off the coast of China, in November 1979.

The Bohai 2 Oil Rig disaster caused the death of 72 out of 76 people onboard the Bohai 2 jack-up rig when it capsized.

As a towing ship moved the Bohai 2 Oil Rig, a storm set in.

Fierce winds broke the ventilator pump of the platform, causing a puncture hole in the deck and extensive flooding. The resulting loss of stability coupled with severe weather conditions eventually led to the jack-up rig capsizing. The accompanying tow boat could not rescue the crew members, who did not have proper training in emergency evacuation procedures and the use of lifesaving equipment.

Investigations that followed reported a failure to correctly stow the Bohai 2 Oil Rig’s deck equipment prior to towing.

It was also reported that standard tow procedures for bad weather conditions were not followed, possibly because operating instructions for the Japanese-made rig were not translated into Chinese until after the incident. The sunken jack-up rig was eventually salvaged by the Yantai Salvage Company in April 1981.

Source: Offshore Technology,Bohai 2 Oil Rig.”

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Accident, Investigations
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