#00063
The Ocean Ranger (Mary Garvey)
See also: Atlantic Blue (Ron Hynes)
And also: In Memoriam (Jim Payne)
And also: The Last Goodbye (Bruce Moss)
And also: Ocean Ranger (Kevin Firth)
And also: Ocean Ranger (Michael T Wall)
And also: The Ocean Ranger (Clayt Butt)
And also: The Ocean Ranger (Eddie Coffey)

On the fifteenth day of February,
nineteen eighty-two,
The Ocean Ranger was capsized
and lost all of its crew;
84 precious lives were lost
on that sad and fateful day,
Some were Newfoundlanders,
and some were CFA.

The crew in desperation tried
to launch their covered boats,
When they saw the rig, the Ranger,
would no longer stay afloat;
But the seas were far too treacherous,
and the waves were far too high,
And each man knew that hope was gone,
it was his time to die.

And what an awful night it was
out on those roaring seas,
The Russian trawler went down too,
just sixteen miles east;
And thirty Russian lives were lost
and they were just as dear
As those we lost from Newfoundland,
and memories we revere.

Like their sons who follow after,
and their fathers gone before,
Our men must earn their living
on that wild and treacherous shore;
And whether they're hunting fish or seals,
whales or crude oil,
They must endure and persevere
in hardship and in toil.

And now the wakes are over,
and the Masses have been said,
And the widows and the orphans
now are left to mourn their dead;
We pray to God the Father,
and the Son and Holy Ghost,
To protect all those who venture forth
off Newfoundland's fateful coast.

####.... Mary Garvey ....####
Mary Garvey is from Washington State and in the mid-seventies worked in fisheries research at Memorial University of Newfoundland (MUN).

Note¹:
CFA: Comes From Away; - anyone not from Newfoundland.

Note²:
Ministerial Message - February 15, 2002
(Lloyd Matthews, Minister of Mines and Energy)
(Anna Thistle, Minister of Labour)



20th Anniversary of the Ocean Ranger Disaster

On February 15, 1982, Newfoundlanders and Labradorians witnessed the worst offshore drilling accident in Canadian history. The Ocean Ranger, an exploratory offshore drilling platform, sank during a severe winter storm at the Hibernia oil discovery site. Eighty-four lives were lost on that dreadful night and many lessons were learned.

The tragedy of the Ocean Ranger continues to be a major influence on our offshore industry. Government has continually examined the safety issues that contributed to this disaster and has implemented numerous changes to enhance the safety of our offshore workforce. Major legislative and regulatory changes were made to the Atlantic Accord Acts by the federal and provincial governments to establish strict safety guidelines that must be followed from the initial design of an offshore project to the actual implementation of safety systems during the operations phase of development. These regulations govern the necessary requirements of offshore safety.

Over the past two decades, government and industry players have worked together to ensure that the necessary funding is available to facilitate the important research needed to improve escape, evacuation and rescue systems. New technologies have been introduced including cold water survival suits and improved methods of lifeboat deployment. Training requirements for offshore workers have increased significantly and new facilities have been established to ensure that these workers have the necessary safety skills to avoid tragedy.

The North Atlantic Ocean is a very unpredictable and unforgiving environment. Industry players have worked with government to improve offshore health and safety. Their initiative and success in preventing major incidents is encouraging. New technologies continue to evolve and are regularly implemented. Government will continue to work with industry players to ensure that offshore safety remains the highest priority.

On behalf of the Government of Newfoundland and Labrador, we wish to remember the eighty-four lives that were lost 20 years ago. May they never be forgotten.

2002 02 15            10:40 a.m.


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