An emotional posting of respect ... working offshore.
No doubt posting on LinkedIn at night guarantees a poor readership but as I've just come back from the cinema having seen Deepwater Horizon I feel I want to purge some emotions. This is most certainly not a post about the film and it's characterisation of events or individuals, or the need for heroes and villains (though heroes were aplenty on the night of the April 20th 2010), and this is not a post about blame and corporate culture or culpability.
A powerful film, all the more so for those like myself who have spent time offshore. Describing routines; family, professional and superstition. The details; checking in at the heliport, attemps at normality, balancing the responsibility between family and company, rig banter and banality. A focus on people rather than pelicans.
Real people with families going about their business ... and then the horror. The filmmakers focussed on what was important. People.
I was physically moved by the movie. I still am as I write this. I regularly fly over the North Sea and see those spots of light and know there are people down there who love what they do and there are also those who would dearly love to leave but continue through a sense of duty: professional duty or family duty. It is 10 years since I was last offshore, I promised my wife I wouldn't go again, but it touches me to think of the men and women out in those wild, black, freezing seas and their commitment. And then to see Deepwater Horizon and to remember that tiny, nagging question that everyone offshore deals with in their own way; namely, "what if?"
So this post is my short moment of respect to all who work offshore in our industry. Come December I'll be involved again with a deep-water development campaign, this film has reminded me of our primary directive; SAFETY.
The film ended with a listing of the 11 fatalities, a role call in memorium, so I will do the same with this post, note the ages and gently weep. Sleep well.
April 20th 2010: Jason C. Anderson, 35, Aaron Dale Burkeen, 37, Donald Clark, 49, Stephen Ray Curtis, 39, Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, Karl D. Kleppinger Jr., 38, Gordon L. Jones, 28, Keith Blair Manuel, 56, Dewey A. Revette, 48, Shane M. Roshto, 22, and Adam Weise, 24.