SEA BREEZES JUNE 2010 • VOL 84 • NO. 774
I was greatly saddened by news of the dreadful explosion and fire on the BP hired semi-submersible drilling rig Deepwater Horizon in the Mississippi Delta just over 40 miles off the Louisiana coast on 20th April.
The Deepwater Horizon was built by Hyundai Heavy Industries Shipyard, South Korea in 2001. Owned and operated by Transocean one of the world’s largest offshore drilling contractors, the rig was classed by ABS and flagged in the Marshall Islands. Of the 126 crew, 115 were safely evacuated, but unfortunately, despite exhaustive rescue efforts, eleven crew members lost their lives.
BP sent in a fleet of vessels to try to deal with the resultant spill, but at the time of writing despite all their efforts and that of the American authorities the spill now threatens the fragile ecology of the Louisiana coast. This shocking tragedy is a stark reminder of the dangerous environment in which offshore workers in the oil and gas industries operate. Deepwater Horizon was a modern rig operated by an owner with more than 50 years experience of the offshore development of oil and natural gas reserves. At a time when the focus will be very much on efforts to limit the environmental impact of this disaster, let us not forget the people who have paid the ultimate price and their families and friends left to mourn.
Captain Hamish A C Ross (Editor)