The camera remembers

From across the sea: Portland welcomed the giant Sedco 135E oil rig in 1966. Pictured is one of the huge pulleys of the oil rig which the tow-line was run through.

From across the sea: Portland welcomed the giant Sedco 135E oil rig in 1966. Pictured is one of the huge pulleys of the oil rig which the tow-line was run through.

The arrival of a 1500 tonne oil rig provided Portland with one of its most memorable days in history.

The Sedco 135E oil rig floated into the town in 1966, following a long, slow, journey from Hiroshima.

Onlookers welcomed the “masterpiece” from a distance as it loomed out of the early morning fog.

It could be seen 1200 feet astern of the tug and once settled it would tower 328ft above water level. 

After more than than three months at sea, the rig was to be fitted out for its drilling task around the Warrnambool coastline early the following year. Its operation would cost Shell Development $15,000 per day. 

Doctors inspected the various crew members and the garbage of the vessel to ensure they were free of diseases like smallpox and the plague before disembarking. 

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