Response to the Ocean Ranger Disaster For much of its history, Newfoundland and Labrador have been dependent on the fishery. Efforts to diversify the economy and create mining, forestry, manufacturing and agricultural industries have been undertaken, but with mixed results.
The 84 men on board made desperate attempts to escape and some did make it to a lifeboat, but given the blowing snow, high winds and waves more than 15 metres high, it proved impossible to launch some life rafts or inflate others.
Lifeboat Number 1 would not release and was damaged when the waves threw the boat against the platform. Lifeboat Number 2 could not be used because of the list of the platform. Lifeboat Number 3 would not completely release and was also severely damaged when it was thrown against the platform by the waves.
Lifeboat Number 4 was lowered and crushed against the platform. In the case of Lifeboat Number 5 numerous crew members declined to enter the boat because they feared it would be crushed against the platform.
This boat capsized when the platform sank and was subsequently righted by a crew member who swam to the boat. Many men were The ocean ranger floating in the sea after the Ocean Ranger was abandoned.
While some may have entered the water as a consequence of a lifeboat capsizing, others may have entered as a consequence of either an unsuccessful lifeboat launching or they may have simply chosen to jump into the water rather than utilize the davit launched lifeboats.
The rescue efforts made by the crews of the three standby boats failed to save any of these men. The recovery techniques, which failed, included the use of ring lifebuoys, the deployment of rafts and the use of grappling hooks. At times the victims were endangered by the propellers of the standby boats.
It also arranged for helicopters and an Aurora to fly to the scene in the morning. Conditions were much too bad for the helicopters to fly during the night and so bad that the Aurora was needed to monitor the helicopters to prevent their colliding.
One supply ship came close to a lifeboat carrying eight or nine survivors but the weather prevented them from rescuing those men and the lifeboat capsized while the rescue ship was alongside.
Though the men hung on to their boat briefly, those men, along with every else on board, eventually died. Autopsies showed that all those whose bodies were recovered died of hypothermia. The log of Seaforth Highlander tells just how difficult the conditions were: Lifeboat steams across the stern.
Stays alongside port quarter…. Lifeboat capsizes to port. Numerous bodies sighted — no sign of life — bodies floating head down in the water. Attempts to retrieve another body. Conditions too severe — body comes out of life jacket and sinks. Another, and the only one, body observed to be wearing orange survival suit.
Attempts to retrieve body. Life jacket comes off — body sinks. Mike Clarke, pilot of a search and rescue helicopter from Gander, described the dangerous conditions in which a man was lowered in a howling gale to try to retrieve the first man they saw, who was already dead.
Wind-driven snow and waves estimated at 16 metres made the effort futile. The Royal Commission of the Ocean Ranger Marine Disaster describes the horrendous conditions under which rescue efforts were made: When a helicopter landed for re-fueling on another rig it took off again very soon because that rig was pitching so much in the heavy seas, the helicopter crew was becoming seasick….
We spent some time vectoring the resupply vessels to the bodies and empty life rafts however this was abandoned when it became clear the ships themselves were having a difficult time just surviving and for a seaman to come out on deck would be suicide…. Once over the search area, steady winds of 75 knots kilometres and very heavy seas made searching difficult and, when bodies were spotted, recovery of them was impossible….
It was evident from the condition of destroyed fibreglass lifeboats and partially inflated life rafts that little time was afforded the crew of the rig to abandon her.
A shot taken when the Ocean Ranger was in Alaska. The US firm that owned the rig, Odeco, closed its doors and declined comment on advice from counsel. Mason, the president of the operating company Mobil, flew in immediately from Calgary and told a news conference just how bad things were: I cannot hold out much hope for survivors.
Then she set up two call centres: Some of the less skilled employees lived in boarding houses:The Ocean Ranger was the second of three offshore oil disasters during the s – the other two were in the North Sea, near the U.K.
CBC's Journalistic Standards and Practices | About CBC News. Ocean Ranger. On 15 February , the world's largest semisubmersible drill rig, Ocean Ranger, capsized and sank in a fierce storm on the Grand Banks with the loss of all 84 crew members, 56 of whom were Newfoundlanders.
May 14, · A documentary about the tragic loss of the oil rig the Ocean Ranger off the coast of Newfoundland on Valentines Day Produced by Cinenova Productions for . The Ocean Ranger The Ocean Ranger was an offshore exploration oil drilling platform that sank in Canadian waters kilometres southeast from St.
John's Newfoundland, on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland on February 15, , with 84 crewmembers onboard.4/4(1). On February 15, , the oil rig Ocean Ranger capsized and sank in the Atlantic Ocean. The 84 men on board made desperate attempts to escape and some did make it to a lifeboat, but given the blowing snow, high winds and waves more than 15 metres high, it .
On February 15, , the oil rig Ocean Ranger sank off the coast of Newfoundland taking the entire crew of eighty-four men – including the author’s brother – down with it.