"The rig, which weathered the strong cyclone, is being brought to complete normalcy," ONGC said.

Oil rig tilts off the Andhra coast due to Cyclone Phethai stabilisation work beginsImage: Twitter/Indian Navy
news Cyclone Saturday, December 22, 2018 - 09:11

An oil rig off the coast of Andhra Pradesh operated by the Oil and Natural Gas Corporation Limited (ONGC) has tilted dangerously due to the effect of Cyclone Phethai which made landfall in the state last week. 

The ONGC has already begun work, tweeting, "Rig Olinda Star, deployed by ONGC on the east coast of India, tilted by massive Cyclone Phethai is being brought to stability.All resources including experts mobilised well in time. ONGC evacuated all 111 crew members from Rig Olinda Star, December 14 and 15 on forcast of Phethai. The Rig, which weathered the strong cyclone, is being brought to complete normalcy."

Meanwhile, the Indian Navy also lent a helping hand to the ONGC, airlifting 13 people including a technical team and crew members off the semi-submersible drilling platform. In a series of tweets, the Indian Navy said that it had deployed a UH3H helicopter from Indian Naval Station (INS) Dega, which airlifted the technical team and crew members of Olinda Star, and winched them up from the tilted deck of the oil rig. According to media reports, the 13 members stayed back as they could not be evacuated earlier, owing to the weather ahead of the cyclone. 

"INS Chetlat a water jet fast attack craft was also deployed to render assistance as required.  Olinda Star, on lease by ONGC, was moored in the Krishna-Godavari Basin. Prior to the onset of Severe Cyclone Phethai, the crew suspended operations and were evacuated to shore for shelter. ‘Olinda Star’ is observed to be tilted and possibly sustained damage by the impact of Severe Cyclone Phethai," the Navy tweeted. 

Last week, ‘Phethai' made the landfall near Katrinekonda in East Godavari district with a wind speed of 80 kmph and re-emerged into the Bay of Bengal before crossing the coast between Kakinada and Yanam, an enclave of Puducherry in the same district. 

Over 5,000 people from some coastal and low-lying villages were shifted to relief camps opened by the East Godavari district administration.

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