In Memoriam (Jim Payne)
See also: Atlantic Blue (Ron Hynes)
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)
And also: The Ocean Ranger (Mary Garvey)

It makes me very sad to hear about
the last minutes of the Ocean Ranger,
To hear of the supply boat that was close to her
and how it braved the danger.
I imagine how those men
must feel having come so close
to saving lives but still so far away -
A burden they will carry with them,
never shake until their dying day.

These men were brave,
the only witnesses to this terrible tragedy.
To save their brothers from the rig,
we know they did all they could do
in fierce and stormy seas.
And now as we must all relive the terror
of that night through their own eyes,
Even though a year has passed us by,
the night air is still broken by their cries.

So as ODECO collects the coin,
eighty million bucks from Lloyd's of London,
Refusing to acknowledge blame,
suing others as though
the damage could be undone -
Only money matters to them,
unconcerned for the families of eighty-four men.
This company, their crass uncaring,
must by decent people be condemned.

My heart goes out to families
who must sit there and listen to testimony,
No chance to get on with their lives,
always reminded of how things used to be.
When will their sufferings ever end?
Will it be made easier by knowing all the facts?
I think not, their wounds will heal
by nothing short of bringing loved ones back.

We all know that can ne'er be done,
may their humble souls now rest in peace,
And may the sufferings of their families
and loved ones finally altogether cease.
May this enquiry soon be o'er,
and may some justice come
from dragging up the past.
May the days when lives are sacrificed
for corporate greed soon be gone at last.

####.... Jim Payne, ©1983, Performing rights administered by CAPAC ....####
See more songs by Jim Payne.

Collected by Genevieve Lehr and Anita Best in 1983 from the author, Jim Payne, formerly of Pilly's Island in Notre Dame Bay, NL, and published as #55 in Come And I Will Sing You: A Newfoundland Songbook, pp.99-100, edited by Genevieve Lehr (University of Toronto Press © 1985/2003).

Genevieve Lehr noted that the largest semi-submersible oil-rig in the world, the Ocean Ranger, like the Titanic, was thought to be unsinkable. During a storm in the early hours of 15 February 1982, the rig was sunk carrying eighty-four men with her. There were no survivors. It was the first oil-rig to go down in Newfoundland waters, though, as has been suggested by some, perhaps not the last. During the enquiry into the cause of the sinking, the suggestion that the supply boats did not try hard enough to save the men on board inspired political satirist and songwriter Jim Payne to compose these lines. Lehr also noted that ODECO, or the Ocean Drilling and Exploration Company, is the American company that owned the Ocean Ranger.

See more songs by Lehr and Best

From an article in the Canadian Encyclopedia:
Ocean Ranger - "Three inquiries, the joint Federal-Provincial Royal Commission on the Ocean Ranger Marine Disaster and two US studies, found that the rig sank after seawater entered its ballast control room through a broken porthole and caused an electrical malfunction in the ballast panel controlling the rig's stability. The commission concluded that the capsizing and loss of life was caused by a "chain of events which resulted from a coincidence of severe storm conditions, design inadequacy and lack of knowledgeable human intervention." Following these inquiries and based mainly on the recommendations of the Royal Commission, sweeping regulatory changes were made in training and safety practices and procedures offshore."

From an article by Charles E Reasons, LLB PHD, Central Washington University, on page 579 in the Encyclopedia Of White-Collar And Corporate Crime (Sage Publications):
"Families of the lost crew members sued the companies that owned and operated the rig, and the companies were forced to pay out millions of dollars in lawsuits. Although there were civil liabilities, no criminal charges were brought; this is often the case when death and injury is a product of violence from an employer's negligence, rather than that of a single individual outside the workplace."


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