Deep Sea Driller


Deep Sea Driller Semi-Sub


01 March 1976


Norwegian Continental Shelf




Owned by the Odfjell Company of Bergen, the Deep Sea Driller was based on the Norwegian contintental shelf. On 01 March 1976, it was sailing to Bergen, Norway, for repairs when it was caught in a severe storm. It was sailing under its own power and was accompanied by the Inger-Lise support vessel when 90 mile per hour winds drove the rig onto rocks by the island of Fedje at about 0300 hours on the morning. Around 90 minutes later, the captain ordered the 50 crew to evacuate via one of the lifeboats prior to the rig developing a 35 degree list.

According to reports, the lifeboat could not be manoeuvred safely from inside so some men went out onto the roof to help navigate. Six Norwegians, including the captain, were then washed away when heavy seas caused the lifeboat to roll over several times. All six men died, of which only four were found. The lifeboat righted itself, although 17 crew received minor injuries after failing to secure themselves with the lifeboat's internal safety harnesses. The crew were then airlifted off the lifeboat by rescue helicopters. The 19,000 ton rig, valued at £14 million in 1976, suffered further damage as one of its support columns broke off and parts of the drilling package were swept away.


The Times (UK): 02 March 1976 'Six die as oil rig is wrecked'
Nordhordland Newspaper

1. NRK Hordaland
2. Nordhordland Newspaper