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No Diving on at a U.S. Rig!

Thread Status: Hello , There was no answer in this thread for more than 60 days.
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New Member
Aug 19, 2002
Saturday I saw something for the first time in my four years of fishing in the Gulf of Mexico. It started after finding a platform on the GPS Waypoint Search map on the link Rigdvr posted, http://www.rodnreel.com (great link Rigdvr). I have 3 maps, one I paid 160 bucks for that was suppose to show ever platform in the Gulf and this was not on a single one. Last year I would have past within a few miles of it and never saw it so maybe its new. In it looked pretty new with better paint than most.

Even though it showed it on the internet map it had no information on it. Anyway I was really jazzed Saturday when it came into view. It was in 250’ of beautiful blue water, right were the 40 fathom line takes a dip in toward the coast. I thought, great I found a secret platform that few people know or fish.

When we pulled up there was a big sign that said “Private Property, No Tying Off and No Diving!”. This really upset me! I just spent 2 ½ hours going 48 miles. I feel like IYA with my rights being taken away!

It seems to me that since the platform is theirs, they could enforce not tying off to it, although this is still a sad precedent that we hope won't spread to other rigs in the U.S.. The no dive rule, though, doesn’t seem like they have a legal right to enforce. They only own the mineral rights, not the water! If you don’t touch the metal, how can they keep you from diving? What do you think?

Although it would be chore, because I don’t have a windless to lift and lower my anchor, I could drop my anchor the 250’ beside the rig and not touch it. The rig is unmanned, but has a helicopter pad on top, so it can be reached quickly. There is a manned rig, with a helicopter about 10 miles away. I have fished at several rigs with helicopter pads and you don’t hear or see the helicopter until its minutes away from landing. So what I am saying is there is a good chance there will be a confrontation if I dive it. Do you think I can politely tell them they don’t own the water and have no legal right to stop me?
According to the rule book and map warning on Indonesian map, we in Indonesia are not supposed to even anchor for some few hundred meters away from the rig, let alone tie a line there.
Can't come close to one at 100 meters or so.

I dove many rigs ( before they wanted to arrest me ) and most are in 120 feet of water. I think there are like 50 of them and an island being the base/HQ. Since the bottom is diveable I saw their electric supply cables and piping which probably lead to the HQ at the island. Their fear if we anchor is that we might snag on the electrical line or those pipe. For deep water rigs, I don't know if there are cables and pipes inter connecting.

There was a case once where a big ship accidentaly drop anchor, drag and damaged an underwater electric cable supplying an island with at least 20,000+ inhabitants. Total black out occured for weeks. In the map it was indicated where the cable lie.

The good thing about Indonesian rigs are, they allow traditional fisherman on small wooden boats ( 30 feet at most ) to fish or drop fish trap. They have no heart to chase these poor fishermen. Once they see our big fiberglass boats, they don't want us. You may troll around rigs, even very close to them, on any kind of boats, but diving is off limits even when u don't anchor at all like me. We have captains so no tying or anchoring needed.

Since all oil rigs ( foreign oil companies ) are government partners, technicaly they belong to the gov, so me can't say no. This country is not like U.S. Our freedom of speech might get returned by their freedom to throw bullets at us.

Technicaly, if u dive outside the perimeter of the rigs, I think u might get away. If you are inside the legs of the rigs, it might be considered their territory. Check ur US law. With Sept 11, I do believe all divers will loose the fight cause once they put security as the main theme....u r history.

U still have lots of diveable rigs, me, I need to wait for it to be abandoned. U r still luckier than me....:D :D

Get a buddy team. 4 divers. Dive two by two. Keep some distance from the rig by drifting. At 10 miles they can not see you, they might identify u by a super radar or camera ( if they have any remote camera on that unmanned rig ). If u do it right, they probably thought u guys are just trolling around. Just my naughty idea.
Don, when in doubt remember my moto...it is easier to ask forgiveness than permission!:D What is the address on the rig and do you have any more info on it...is it a jackup, floater, semi-sub? Give me the address and the gps and I will look into it as well. Did it say who owned it?
I’ll send you the GPS by e-mail. I told a few people about a good rig at the beginning of this year and they told more, who in turn told more, etc.. Now every time I go there is at least 3 other boats. Last year I only saw one recreational boat in about 5 visits!

I think the name of the company was Mustang something. I haven’t seen their name on any other rigs in the area. I like your motto about asking forgiveness rather than permission. I can kind of see why they don’t want anyone tying off to it, because it’s only a 3-leg platform which is quite small for being in a 250’ of water. If a big shrimp boat or party boat tied to it they might do some damage. But it doesn’t seem they should be able to legally control the water around it for diving. Even inland I have heard the water is owned by the government so if you can get to a body of water without trespassing on someone’s land, its legal to be on the water.
You ae mostly right about navigable waterways being public. The basis of the law is that the median high tide line is where public property begins however there are exceptions.
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