PORTLAND (AP) – Federal workplace safety officials have cited two employers for an incident in which a lifeboat plunged 60 feet into Portland Harbor, killing one person and injuring two others.

Three workers should not have been inside a lifeboat as it was being lifted and locked into position aboard the Pride Rio de Janeiro, one of two giant oil rigs brought to Portland Harbor to be outfitted, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.

The Coast Guard later identified a potential equipment defect, but OSHA said crew members did not follow correct procedures on Jan. 13. Two other hazards not directly related to the accident were cited.

“If the guys had not been in the boat, no one would have been hurt or killed,” said OSHA spokesman John Chavez.

OSHA cited Pride International Inc., the workers’ employer, and Petrodrill Engineering, the project’s construction manager.

Each was fined $13,950 for three alleged serious violations. Pride also faces a $100 fine for not maintaining an illness and injury log. Both companies have 15 days to respond to the citations.

It was the second fine to result from the oil rig project.

Portland Tugboat LLC is contesting the findings and a $1,500 fine imposed by OSHA following a fatal accident in which a tug worker was pinned by a cable while setting an anchor for the rig on Dec. 4.

The self-propelled oil exploration rig and its sister rig, Pride Portland, are owned by Brazilian-based Petrodrill.

Pittsfield-based Cianbro was responsible for outfitting the structures, which were brought to Portland from separate Gulf Coast yards after the companies that were building them sank into bankruptcy.

AP-ES-06-22-04 1655EDT



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