Storm aims at Mexico with 10 oil workers missing
VILLAHERMOSA, Mexico (AP) — Authorities on Mexico’s Gulf coast prepared for Tropical Storm Nate’s arrival Saturday while air and sea search teams hunted for 10 oil workers missing since abandoning a disabled research vessel in stormy waters.
Nate was still moving toward the coast very slowly, but was expected to pick up some speed Saturday, said the U.S. National Hurricane Center in Miami. Forecasters said the storm would approach the coast Sunday, mostly likely just below hurricane strength.
Mexico’s state oil company, Petroleos Mexicanos, had two ships searching for the missing oil workers. A port official said Friday that they included four Americans, four Mexicans, one from Kazakhstan and a 10th of unconfirmed nationality.
The workers, employees of Houston-based Geokinetics Inc., called for help Thursday afternoon after leaving a vessel known as a liftboat, the Trinity II, on an enclosed life raft.
“We’re deeply concerned about the incident in the Gulf of Mexico involving our employees and others who had to abandon a disabled liftboat due to conditions brought about by Tropical Storm Nate,” Geokinetics spokeswoman Brenda Taquino said.