On October 27, 1985, the U.S. mobile offshore drilling tmit PENROD 61 was drilling
for oil at an offshore drilling site about 25 nautical miles (nmi) south of the Louisiana
coast·in the Gulf of Mexico. The PENROD 61, a self-elevating type drilling unit, was in
the jacked-up mode in about 246 feet of water and was elevated about 50 feet above the
surface of the water on three bottom bearing legs. About 2330 c.s.t. in seas reported
to be in excess of 30 feet high and in winds gusting to 80 knots, the PENROD 61 collapsed
into the sea. The 43 persons on board abandoned the vessel and all but one were later
rescued. After it fell into the sea the PENROD 61 drifted with the wind and sea, struck
the nearby PENROD 60, and subsequently sank about 9 nmi northwest of its drilling site.
As a result of this accident the PENROD 61, valued at $40 million, was destroyed and one
man lost his life.