Familiar rigs here, especially the Drillship Aban Ice:
Seen here when she was working in the Gulf of Bintulu, Papua in 1995, then as Odfjell’s Deepsea Ice:
In 1999 she “belonged” by R&B Falcon and was laid up in Brunei Bay. They found out that they didn’t own her. She still belonged to the Odfjell family thrust and only on Bareboat Charter, which had been missed in the frenzy of take-over and mergers that had happened in the last few years presiding.
They then decided to put her back in class the cheapest possible way to satisfy the BB clause: “redeliver in same good condition and in class”.
I went to Labuan to approve her for tow to Singapore in late Aug. 1999.
On 25. Sept.1999 I got a frantic call from R&B in KL to act as their Marine Rep. because she was aground off Changi Airport:
When I got out there I went up on top of the Doghouse and could see the perimeter lights on Changi Airport Runway #2 in perfect symmetry. The runway was closed to takeoff and landing.
Airport Authorities wanted to request the Navy to send out their demolition crew to blow off the derrick. This was stopped by MPA on request, whoever.
SEMCO had been engaged to pull her off. Their Salvage Master, Capt. Dave Bretts arrived with the salvage tug Salvalliant.
First attempt to refloat was done on rising tide at 2120 hrs. that evening. No luck. At the same time the first Jumbo jet took off above our head. On enquiry we were informed that they now had exact distance from the end of the runway. That and height of the derrick had been informed to the Pilots for them to decide if they wanted to take off, or wait their turn at the other runway.
3 days later top of the derrick was unbolted and lifted off by a floating crane to make it even safer for flight to take off and even land from the opposite side.
She was lightened by stripping off equipment and a “mud plug” in the moonpool was jetted away. She was finally refloated on 07. Oct. 1999.