Tanker Hits Lost Oil Rig

The Coast Guard thinks it has found what caused an oil tanker to spring a leak out in the Gulf of Mexico near Galveston. The tanker MIGHT have hit a sunken oil rig. Jim Bell reports.

The 900 foot tanker SKS Satilla started taking on water and listing to port Friday morning 65 miles south of Galveston. The Coast Guard says no oil is leaking, and the ship is in no danger of sinking, but it’s load of 41 million gallons of crude oil is being transferred to two tank ships so the damaged ship can head straight to a shipyard for repairs sometime tomorrow.

The Coast Guard brought in a remote controlled submersible to retrace the ship’s course and find what caused the leak. 

They found a sunken mobile offshore drilling rig that had been missing since Hurricane Ike.  An official says the rig is close to the ship’s path and they suspect the ship ran over it. The rig’s owner, ENSCO Offshore, will put a buoy marker at the spot to warn other ships, and they’ll salvage the rig as soon as possible.  

Jim Bell, KUHF, Houston Public Radio News.

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