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Oil Rig Harrowing Tales

HOUSTON, TX – Four of the survivors from the explosion, fire and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon in 2010 got together one year after the disaster on April 20, 2011 for an appearance on the CBS Early Show to tell their stories with host, Erica Hill.

After going through a life-threatening experience and barely escaping with their lives, the treatment immediately following gives one the impression that the company was more interested in protecting themselves than the survivors.

Yancy Keplinger recounts he and his captain having to jump off the rig into the water after the lifeboat was lowered without them.

Doug Brown, one of the chief mechanics, fell through a floor and broke his leg and was airlifted out. When telling the story about his treatment, only about 12 hours after receiving medical attention for his injuries, he was transported from Arkansas to New Orleans and taken to a hotel with other survivors and immediately ushered into a room where he was grilled by Transocean lawyers.

Daniel Barron was held on a boat for 30 hours immediately following the disaster and was not offered so much as a cell phone to contact his family during the entire time. As soon as he got off the boat he had to take a drug test before he was handed a cell phone.

Maritime lawyer, Steve Gordon, who represents the men, says that the men’s injuries were both physical and mental. All have suffered from mental anguish and are still receiving treatment. Brent Mansfield has suffered amnesia after the incident. They have not been able to return to work after the disaster and Transocean cut off their pay on December 15, 2010, which has made it difficult for the men and their families.

The injuries suffered by the men are substantial. Two of them suffered brain injury from head trauma and Doug Brown’s leg injury was very serious and he is still awaiting a decision by the company whether or not they will pay for a knee replacement, which his doctors want to do.

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