In Their Own Words: Deepwater Horizon

Mar 5, 2024 | Environmental, Videos

The Deepwater Horizon disaster of April 20, 2010 was a catastrophic tragedy that shook the world. This event is now widely remembered as the largest environmental disaster in the history of the United States, and stands out as one of the most horrifying industrial accidents ever recorded.

On board the Transocean-owned semi-submersible oil drilling rig, 126 people were working when alarms began to sound at around 9pm that evening – an indication that combustible gas had accumulated down at the well site. Two minutes later, a devastating explosion ripped through the entire rig, leaving workers battling against total darkness and extreme heat in an attempt to reach safety.

The US Coast Guard arrived on scene with helicopters and lifeboats to evacuate those still on board. Many jumped into the ocean from a height of 75 feet in order to escape, while those already injured were airlifted away from danger. Despite this heroic effort by rescue teams, 11 crew members were not found and remain missing to this day, their bodies lost beneath waves of oil that had escaped following the incident.

This tragedy led to an investigation by numerous agencies into its exact cause – with it quickly being revealed that methane gas had shot up through a drill column causing ignition which caused what has been dubbed “the worst environmental disaster”. New regulations have since been put in place in order to prevent similar incidents taking place again.

It is clear that what took place on board Deepwater Horizon stands out as one of humanity’s greatest tragedies – with real people losing their lives due to mistakes made by some of our biggest industrial giants. For anyone wanting to learn more about this harrowing experience, there is now an award-winning documentary titled “Deepwater Horizon” available for viewing – allowing us all to gain a greater understanding of what really happened here.

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David B