Barge survivors grateful

National, Normal

The National, Monday June 24th, 2013

 THANK you, thank you very much, thank you for rescuing us, and thank you for looking after us very well until we arrived in Port Moresby.

These were the words of the survivors of the mv Mundi Navigator, a local barge that capsized in the Gulf of Papua last Thursday.

Most of them could not speak, some still coming to terms that they had just cheated death, others just overwhelmed to be back on dry land again.

Oil Search Ltd’s drilling support boat Go Rigel had just berthed at Berth 1, at the main wharf in Port Moresby last Thursday evening, delivering 11 PNG nationals who were rescued from the Mundi Navigator. 

It was a very long, tiring and stressful day for them. 

Apart from the two people who required some medical assistance, the other nine crew members were able to go home.

The Go Rigel, owned by Go Marine Group Pty Ltd, is one of two boats and a helicopter contracted by Oil Search that were dispatched to assist authorities with the rescue mission, following an emergency call from the Mundi Navigator in distress offshore in the Gulf of Papua.

The two boats and the helicopter provide support for Oil Search Ltd’s current offshore drilling campaign in the Gulf of Papua, in Petroleum Prospective Licence 244.

Oil Search PNG general manager Gerea Aopi said: “Oil Search Ltd was happy to assist rescue the survivors. 

“We are operating in the vicinity of where the distress signal came from and responded accordingly.

“We provided two boats and a helicopter. 

“One of our vessels arrived at the scene and rescued all 11 crew members of the boat. 

“The other vessel and the helicopter were then stood down from rescue duties once they were safely on board.

“I would like to thank the crew of the Go Rigel and the Oil Search drilling team, for their cooperation and quick response to a call for assistance. 

“The incident and our support to the rescue mission did not affect our drilling operations.’’

Oil Search responded to a “mayday” issued by the Australian Rescue Centre at 6am last Thursday with a request for assistance following detection of an activated emergency beacon on a commercial vessel in distress offshore in the Gulf of Papua.