Survivors of the Deepwater Horizon Become Advocates for Offshore Safety; Send Letter To USCG Investigators

Posted in BP British Petroleum,Deepwater Horizon,Government,Gulf Coast,Maritime Accidents,Transocean,US Coast Guard (USCG),World Maritime News on June 2, 2011

With just a little over one year since the tragic Deepwater Horizon disaster that claimed the lives of 11 oil rig workers,  Doug Brown, one of the 10 most injured survivors of the blast, has become an advocate for improvements in offshore safety.

Matthew Jacobs, Douglas Brown and Daniel Barron one year after the Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Brown has been living with the first-hand memories of that deadly night and for the past year he has brought his message and fight to Congress and via the mainstream media.

Excerpts from GCaptain article:

Other Deepwater Horizon (DWH) alumni have joined the fight contributing their experience and knowledge to investigators including Mike Williams, an Electronics Technician aboard the rig who was featured in two 60 Minutes specials, Christopher Choy, the sole fire team member who showed up on-station to assist the Chief Mate in rescue duties that night, and Natalie Roshto, widow of Shane Roshto, a Roughneck who was on the rig floor that night.

Re-living the nightmare of that evening is not the only consequence for survivors continuing their advocacy of offshore safety.  Mike Williams, the most vocal and public of the survivors, has been criticized by some for drawing inaccurate conclusions about the cause of the incident, and others believe that William’s highly critical testimony is doing more harm than good.

Dr. Robert Bea, a Shell Oil executive and engineering professor at Berkley, stated recently “Mr. Williams comes forward with these very detailed elements from his viewpoint on a rig. That’s a brave and intelligent man,”. When questioned by gCaptain about the bias of former workers, including those with pending lawsuits against BP, Bea responded “I think ‘personal bias’ is a ‘good’ bias in that it is based on significant first hand experiences….I call this ‘deep knowledge’…not personal bias.” The conclusion is that Mike Williams, regardless of your feeling towards his views, is brave and making a valuable contribution to the investigation and future improvements in safety.”

Led by maritime lawyer, Steve Gordon, the most productive of the DWH survivors has clearly been Chief Engineer Doug Brown and 1st Assistant Engineer, Brett Mansfield.  Called “brilliant” by some gCaptain members, Steve has fought with fervor for changes to regulatory policy and has advocated the safety of US Mariners since day one of the investigation. Steve is also a vocal proponent of the US Jones Act and has included in his fight the need to re-register all mobile rigs in the Gulf Of Mexico under the US flag. A mission that’s seen success.

The following document contains ideas which are likely to be refuted by the industry, like the need for dedicated emergency response vessels, and the requirement that all bridge watch standers be licensed officers and that the Deepwater Horizon itself be salvaged from the seafloor and inspected for forensic evidence.

Read the entire document HERE

Related article:
Doug Brown Interview With Anderson Cooper (VIDEO)