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Offshore Construction Accidents

In the offshore industry, there are many different kinds of vessels. A major component of the offshore industry involves oil and energy platforms stationed out at sea, but how do they get there? There is a special niche in the offshore industry for construction. Offshore construction vessels primarily consist of derrick barges, pipe-laying ships, or a combination of the two. These ships are manufactured for the sole purpose of installing major structures in ocean waters. Both the construction and maritime fields are some of the most dangerous in the world.

For this reason, many of the parts are pre-commissioned and transported to the installation site, rather than being manufactured at the site itself. With this strategy, the machinery that is built onshore is then transported by towboat to the offshore site. Although this method cuts out some of the risks associated with offshore construction, it presents new challenges. These pre-commissioned structures, some weighing up to 15,000 tons, now have to be lifted into place. Some of the most common fixtures that are constructed offshore include:

  • Oil Platforms
  • Drilling Rigs
  • Wind / Energy Farms

Pipe-Laying Ships & Derrick Barges

A pipelaying ship, as it sounds, is built for the purpose of laying pipes for underwater structures. Primarily, these pipes are used to transport oil to onshore facilities. The largest ever manufactured pipelaying ship is the Solitaire, which is 300 meters long and weighs 96,000 tons. These vessels come equipped with a large crane that acts as the main way the pipes and valves are installed. Due to recent advances in technology, some pipelaying ships can now lay pipe in waters as deep as 2,500 meters. A derrick or crane vessel on the other hand is similar. Only the largest of these vessels are used for offshore construction. To learn more about your rights under maritime law, call now!

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