US Coast Guard Hearings

The USCG-MMS Joint Investigation released its Roadmap for determining the causes of the Deepwater Horizon casualty and improving the safety net for MODUs operating on the US outer continental shelf (OCS).

Round 2 of US Coast Guard/MMS Joint Investigation Hearings

From May 26th through May 29, 2010, the Deepwater Horizon Joint Investigation continues conducting its public hearings to determine the factors that lead to the initial catastrophic explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon on April 20th 2010. In addition, the panel will examine the circumstances leading to the sinking of the rig, the tragic loss of 11 lives, and the subsequent out-of-control oil spill.

Originally the second round of the US Coast Guard/ Minerals and Management Service Joint Investigation Hearings were to commence on May 25th. However out of respect for those oil workers who lost their lives, and their grieving families and friends, the hearings were rescheduled for the day after the memorial service which was held in Jackson Mississippi. The Joint Investigation Hearings will take place at the Radisson New Orleans Airport, 2150 Veterans Blvd., Kenner, LA – Bayou Meeting Room. The witnesses scheduled for the hearing are as follows

Wednesday May 26, 2010: 1. Carl Smith – Consultant 2. Douglass Brown – Transocean 3. Forsythe – American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) 4. Roy – American Bureau of Shipping (ABS) 5. David McKay – Det Norske Veritias (DNV) 6. Steve Tink – BP 7. Adrian Rose – Transocean

Thursday May 27, 2010: 1. James Mansfield – Transocean 2. Jimmy Harrell – Transocean 3. Donald Vidrine – BP 4. Curt Kuchta – Transocean 5. Robert Kaluza – BP 6. David Young – Transocean 7. Chad Murray – Transocean

Friday May 28, 2010: 1. Mark Hafle – BP 2. Christopher Pleasant – Transocean 3. Greg Meche – M I Swaco 4. Joseph Keith – Halliburton 5. Christopher Haire – Halliburton 6. Miles Ezell – Transocean 7. William Stoner – Transocean

Saturday May 29, 2010: 1. Micah Sandell – Transocean 2. Paul Meinhart – Transocean 3. Charles Credeur – Dril-Quip 4. Micah Burgess – Transocean 5. Allen Seraile – Transocean 6. Heber Morales – Transocean 7. Pat O’Bryan – BP 8. David Sims – BP

The United States Coast Guard, and the Minerals and Management Service are conducting these hearings. David Dykes, MMS, and Captain Hung Nguyen, USCG, are designated as the Co-Chairs of the investigation.

The findings from the hearings along with the investigators’ recommendations will be sent to Coast Guard Headquarters and to the MMS. Once the final report is approved, it will be available to the media and the public.

The first round of hearings was conducted on May 11 and 12, 2010. Members of the panel heard testimony from witnesses who were not on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig. Their testimony revolved around rescue efforts, and prevention protocols. The witnesses for those two days are as follows

Tuesday May 11, 2010: 1. Kevin Robb, Eighth Coast Guard District command center search and rescue coordinator 2. Capt. Alwin Landry, master of the motor vessel Damon B. Bankston 3. Anthony Gervasio, engineer from the Damon B. Bankston 4. Paul Erickson, chief mate from the Damon B. Bankston 5. Frank Patton, Drilling Engineer, MMS New Orleans District 6.Eric Neal, inspector from MMS 7.Bob Neal, inspector from MMS

Wednesday May 12, 2010: 1.Michael Saucier, MMS Gulf of Mexico Region 2.Capt. Vern Gifford, Eighth Coast Guard District prevention division 3.Lt. Cmdr. Michael Odom, Technical advisor for the Coast Guard Liquefied Gas Carrier National Center of Expertise 4. Lt. Barbara Wilk – Investigating Officer, Coast Guard Marine Safety Unit Morgan City 5. Capt. Thomas Heinan – Deputy Commissioner Maritime Affairs, Republic of Marshall Islands 6. Mr. Brian Bubar – Deputy Commissioner Maritime Affairs, Republic of Marshall Islands

This investigation’s importance lies not only in finding out how and why this horrific event happened, but also to develop conclusions and make recommendations so that another occurrence like this never happens again. The co-chair of the joint investigation David Dykes expressed succinctly the seriousness of the panel’s commitment: “We owe this to the memory and honor of the 11 missing rig workers.”