April 15 , 2010


An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster


In the early hours of February 15, 1982, while undertaking exploratory drilling one hundred and seventy nautical miles east of St. John's, Newfoundland, the Ocean Ranger, the Titantic of semi-submersible oil rigs, capsized and sank in a severe weather storm. All eighty-four crewmen, including fifty-six Newfoundlanders, were lost. It was Canada's worst maritime disaster since the Second World War, leaving that tightly-knit island province shattered to its core. Reeling in debt and unemployment, offshore oil development was seen as Newfoundland's economic salvation. But when the Ocean Ranger went down, it took with it the hopes and dreams of a generation. The hurt still runs deep, even after twenty-seven years. Rig: An Oral History of the Ocean Ranger Disaster, a collection of first-person accounts and previously unpublished photographs, describes events as they unfolded from those most greatly affected-victims' families, former rig workers, emergency responders and government officials. It is an intimate journey through grief and sadness and the search for meaning in the most devasting of tragedies.

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