US Coast Guard Chopper Rescues 13 Rig Workers

Union warning of disasters to come in Gulf of Mexico proved as second oil rig goes up in flames.

A Coast Guard Chopper has plucked 13 rig workers from Gulf Oil platform Friday, with no deaths reported, Fairplay reports.

The crew were found in the water wearing immersion suits. 

"The crew of the Crystal Clear, an offshore supply vessel, safely pulled 13 people from the water near the platform and transferred them to a nearby rig," the Coast Guard reported, saying the fire caused by the explosion continued to burn but was contained. 

The rig and platform are just west of the site of the April rig blast that killed 11 workers and caused a huge oil spill off Louisiana - the biggest environmental disaster in US history.

Platform owners Houston's Mariner Energy claim there is no spill or sheen seen on the water nearby. 

Teams are continuing to search the area for any sign of a leak, the Coast Guard said.   The rig caught fire on Thursday, last week.

Only last month unions warned the oil spill off Florida in the  Gulf of Mexico might not be the last.

Lack of trade union freedoms, insurance and health coverage, low wages, poor training and corrupt practices prevail in Mexico's private oil industry, putting lives and the environment at risk.

"Workers hired by private contractors do not have the training for offshore drilling," Ysmael García, interior secretary of the Mexican seafarers' union, OCPNRM said.

"Contractors and subcontractors are only interested in making money," said García, whose union represents more than 300 members in private companies.

Paddy Crumlin, President of the International Transport Workers' Federation and MUA national secretary said deregulation and widespread union busting in the industry, both in the America's deep south and Mexico, was a disaster in both human and environmental terms.

"The ITF will be redoubling its efforts to work with unions to clean up the industry," he said.