* PRAY FOR THE 11 PEOPLE MISSING FROM THE DEEPWATER HORIZON. Condolences to the families, friends of those who have been lost following the fire and explosion on the Deepwater Horizon in the Gulf of Mexico. ~The full list of names that are gone~Jason Anderson, Aaron Dale Burkeen, Donald Clark, Stephen Curtis, Roy Wyatt Kemp, Karl Kleppinger, Gordon Jones (M-I SWACO), Blair Manuel (M-I SWACO), Dewey Revette, Shane Roshto, Adam Weise~
Deepwater Horizon as told by Albert Andry Some friends got me motivated to take the boat out on an overnight fishing trip offshore April 20th. We first tested the boat the day before and one motors temperature light came on and the other motor would not start! So the work began!
The port motor just needed to have the sand flushed out the water pump and VIOLA, no more temp light. The starboard motor, on the other hand, read 12.4v at the battery and 12.4v at the starting magnet but only 7v at the starter when cranked. The port motor had a new magnet on it so we assumed it must be the magnet ($170) and we bought a new temp sensor for the fun of it ($40).
After installing the new magnet on starboard motor we had the same results. So we then assumed the starter must be bad. Pulled the starter and tested it, and of course it was good. So we charged the battery and Bam! Eureka!
We brought the boat into the lake around 9pm and ran it for a test run. The gas leaked out of the water separator on the port motor and melted the float sensor for the bilge pump causing the wires to touch and heat the float and melted it. The bilge almost burned up as well. We replaced the water separator ($10) and installed a new float switch as well ($60). Went to bed at 1am Tuesday morning and wokeup again at 7 am to head out for our offshore adventure.
We loaded up and headed South from Mandeville. We had a flat on the trailer in Belle Chase and replaced it with a smaller tire to make due just to get us to Venice! We launched and went to head out and starboard motor wasn't getting fuel. Soooo, we found the problem, which was a broken, corroded, elbow connecting the fuel line to the gas tank. We went to a local parts place and made do with $80 of miscellaneous fittings and hoses and replaced that fuel separator ($10) for the fun of it. We fixed it and left the dock at 3pm headed down river to BP 109 an offshore rig in 1000 foot of water. We stayed there until we landed a bunch of blackfin tuna with still enough time to make it to our ultimante destination before dark, the Deepsea Horizon drill platform! A semisubmersible tension leg rig.
We left BP 109 in a hurry, the water was like glass.
My radar had been stolen off my boat before this trip so we planned on getting to the Deepwater Horizon before dark and staying/fishing till sun up the next day. We got to the Deepwater Horizon at sunset and began catching more tuna.
These jelly fish were floating everywhere. It was pretty cool to see them literally SAIL! When we drove at night the jellyfish would glow as they passed under the boat by the thousands.
The tuna bite was starting to slow down so we drove right up to the rig to try to catch bait. No luck, but we found more tuna under the floating rig.
Around 10 pm the entire center of the rig started rushing water downwards over all the pipes... I've never seen such an event take place. I looked at my friend who previously worked offshore, and he said that's BOP something another and the rig took a 'kick!' I thought the rig was sinking and that was their way of bilging... But nope! Methane gas began BLOWING out of the West side of it and the noise of the thrust was louder than anything I've ever heard (except for a sonic boom I herd once).
My eyes began to burn and that friend I was telling you about earlier began to SCREAM, "GO, GO, GO, GO, GOOOOO!" I positioned my compass North and put the gears in WOT! As we got about 100 yards from the rig it exploded! Puts a new meaning to explosion. We hit the deck and continued North at WOT. The boat was running essentially blind because the moon was only a quarter crescent and I had no radar.
The boats switch board went black for unknown reasons; therefore, I had no running lights either. The flood lights in the rear of the boat did work. The rig continued EXPLODING. A very large crew boat was tied to the rig as it blew and the people began rafting to that boat as it floated away slowly.
I got on the radio to try to help and they told me to stay away for safety reasons. The rig blew a few more explosions after that and began to burn down. Some of the rig began dripping into the water and the platform tilted in and turned RED HOT. As bad as we wanted to save people, it wasn't the case here. I tried going in to be a hero and my posse' wasn't having it! Maybe they were right.
The guy who predicted the explosion was terrified of what would happen next and would not allow for us to get any closer than a mile. He told me things about air rising from the pipes below, and how the pipes could be below us since they run at angles under water, and how the explosions would continue. I think he knew what he was talking about and made us all worry.
We stayed a mile off the fire and searched and listened for missing people for 4 hours. We saw nothing. 20 or so commercial liners eventually brought Medics and oxygen for survivors. Helicopter came for search and transport. All the other facts you probably already know about, via the News.
The 11 missing people in 'mind' I hope slipped away in a safety boat, but in reality I doubted they were alive. This is a sad thing to say, but if you would have seen the explosions you wouldn't believe anyone of the 126 would have survived! I pray for all of them and their families! We left at morning to make our way in. We were 60 miles offshore and gas was running low. We stopped at Elf on the way in and filled the ice chest.
The tuna were busting on top water and we couldn't resist. We left the half way point in hopes to make it home. The starboard motor ran out of gas at the very mouth of the river, but fortunately we had a spare gas tank on board! We made it to Venice at about 3pm on Wednesday and began cleaning the fish.
I made it to my home at 8pm Wednesday night (37 hours with no sleep). And now it seems like it was a dream!
Thanks to Andry for the video footage.