Trinity II Heavy Weather Damage and Crew Abandonment

Gulf of Mexico
September 8, 2011

On Tuesday April 9, 2013, the National Transportation Safety Board will meet to consider the following accident investigation report:

On September 8, 2011, the 78.5-foot-long liftboat Trinity II sustained damage from severe weather associated with Hurricane Nate about 15 miles offshore in the Gulf of Mexico. The four crewmembers and six contractors on board abandoned ship. All 10 persons, wearing lifejackets, entered the water where they clung to a lifefloat. By the time rescuers located the survivors three days later, three had died and another would die later at a hospital. The six survivors sustained serious injuries.

Probable Cause

The National Transportation Safety Board determines that the probable cause of the accident was the failure of Trinity Liftboats (the vessel owner/operator) and Geokinetics (the chartering organization) to adequately plan for the risks associated with a rapidly developing surface low pressure weather system, which ultimately subjected the elevated liftboat to hurricane-force conditions, causing the stern jacking leg to fail and the onboard personnel to abandon the vessel. Contributing to the injuries and fatalities was the failure of the Trinity II crewmembers to make effective use of the vessel's available lifesaving equipment, resulting in the personnel's prolonged exposure to the elements while awaiting rescue.

Download a complete Abstract and Summary, including Findings and Safety Recommendations.

A Safety Alert to Mariners was also issued from this investigation


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