USCG Report – Commendations For Heroics in DWH Tragedy

John Konrad
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April 22, 2011

There is much about the USCG’s Deepwater Horizon Investigation report we at gCaptain disagree with but Section 8 certainly rings true (The CG blotted out the names, but most involved know who they are):

1. The crew of DAMON B. BANKSTON (pictured right) should receive a Public Service Award for their outstanding actions during the response to the DEEPWATER HORIZON casualty with special emphasis on their heroic efforts in the recovery and compassionate treatment of the 115 surviving crew members of DEEPWATER HORIZON.

2. Captain of DAMON B. BANKSTON is recommended for special personal recognition for his heroic actions in responding to DEEPWATER HORIZON casualty. Captain actions were instrumental not only in the safe recovery of the 115 crew members from DEEPWATER HORIZON, but also in providing extraordinary leadership and guidance during the continuing Search and Rescue and fire-fighting efforts despite personal risk to himself and his crew.

3. Engineer and Able Bodied Seaman of DAMON B. BANKSTON are recommended for special personal recognition for their heroic actions in piloting DAMON B. BANKSTON’s Fast Recovery Craft and heroically recovering five DEEPWATER HORIZON crew members from the water and towing DEEPWATER HORIZON’s liferaft loaded with an additional seven crew members safely away from the burning vessel despite personal risk to themselves.

4. The crew of the recreational vessel RAMBLIN’ WRECK, and should receive a Public Service Award for their outstanding efforts in providing
tenacious search and rescue efforts following the casualty.

5. Chief Mate of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. At great personal risk to himself, he attempted to locate and rescue injured personnel and then proceeded to his Fire and Emergency Station on the Drill Floor in an attempt to fight the raging fire. Once he determined the fire was out of control, he immediately proceeded to the Liferaft Embarkation Station and prepared the liferaft for launching in order to evacuate the crew members still on board, including loading the last injured person ( from DEEPWATER HORIZON. Upon the liferaft reaching the water, he and two other persons, immediately jumped into the water and began swimming the liferaft away from the burning vessel. His efforts were instrumental in ensuring the safe evacuation of the crew members from DEEPWATER HORIZON and attempting to ensure that no crew members were left behind.

6. Chief Engineer of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. He was instrumental in the efforts to attempt to start the standby generator in order to regain power to operate the fire pumps to fight the fire. When those efforts failed, he immediately went to the Lifeboat/liferaft Embarkation Station and assisted with loading injured personnel into the liferaft, and when the liferaft hit the water, he jumped out and assisted again by helping swim it away from the burning vessel.

7. Chief Electrician of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. Immediately following the explosion, he made his way from near the Pump Room through the accommodations spaces assisting injured and trapped crew members as he went. Later, after making it to the Central Control Room/Bridge and subsequently to the Lifeboat Embarkation Station, he was instrumental in helping evacuate injured personnel ( and safely from the MODU.

8. Chief Electronics Technician of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. Immediately following the explosion, he helped injured personnel in the Engine Control Room escape to the Lifeboat Embarkation Station. He was instrumental in assisting the efforts to start the standby generator in order to regain power to operate the fire pumps. When those efforts failed, he immediately went to the Lifeboat/Liferaft Embarkation Station and was critical in releasing the davit and getting the liferaft successfully launched before jumping from the flight deck into the water.

9. Motorman of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. Despite suffering injury from the explosions, he evacuated another injured person from the Engine Control Room, attempted to start the standby generator in order to regain power to operate the fire pumps to fight the fire, assisted with loading injured personnel ( into a liferaft and got the liferaft successfully launched before jumping from the flight deck into the water.

10. Electrical Supervisor of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. Immediately following the explosion, he made his way through the accommodations spaces assisting injured and trapped crew members as he went. Later, after making it to the Lifeboat Embarkation Station, he was instrumental in helping evacuate injured personnel (
and safely from the MODU.

11. Senior Toolpusher of DEEPWATER HORIZON is recommended for special recognition for his selfless and heroic actions following the casualty. Immediately following the explosion, he made his way through the accommodations spaces assisting injured and trapped crew members as he went. Later, after making it to the Lifeboat Embarkation Station, he was instrumental in helping evacuate injured personnel ( and safely from the MODU.

Many congratulations to all mentioned. In our opinion the list is not long enough, there where many hero’s that night, but we are very please by the CG’s recognition of these 11 heroic men.

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