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North Sea rig disaster headed off

A North Sea oil rig disaster was narrowly averted early Tuesday when a tugboat, battling high winds and heavy seas, kept a drifting Norwegian rig carrying 112 men from colliding with another manned platform, the Norwegian Coast Guard said.

The rig Phillips SS, which broke loose from its anchors in the gale, was brought to a halt just 250 feet from another platform. Thirty miles to the south , a British rig with 70 men aboard also broke from its anchorage.

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The rescue occurred in the Ekofisk Field about 180 miles east of Aberdeen, Scotland - the same area where 123 lives were claimed last year in the world's worst oil rig disaster. No casualties were reported in the latest incidents.