It all started on August 5, the day 33 miners got trapped upderground when part of the San Jose mine in Chile collapsed. A Schramm, Inc. rig, a company based out of Pennsyvania, was being used by an exploration company near the site, and they started drilling to try and find the miners. On day 17, the miners were located.
"Based on the fact that they knew where the miners were with that rig, the thought process was to bring a larger rig in and follow that pilot hole to the miners," says Frank Gabriel, Vice President of Schramm.
He says that within moments of finding the miners, Schramm got in touch with the company that was operating the rig down in Chile. "We put a game plan together to offer assistance in the way of spare parts, technical support and our own service techs to go down to the mine and be with the rig to drill the larger hole. "
But Schramm was only one of three rigs on site, each came up with their own plan of action. Schramm's Matt Starkweather says, "Our Plan B was the quickest one. Turns out, we were two months ahead of the projected plan a project."
"The drilling contractor that did that exploration hole actually owned one of the larger Schramm rigs. So they were able to quickly mobilize it from a mine in the northern part of Chile and bring it onite to the San Jose mine," explains Gabriel.
On day 25, they began drilling a hole large enough to lift the miners to safety. By day 68, the first of 33 rescues had been made. Gabriel says, "Certainly, we're very pround to have played a small part in the successful rescue and ultimately it was just uplifting that they were able to get everyone out safely. "