Four years ago today, at approximately 9:40pm, an explosion rocked the Macondo well on the Deepwater Horizon platform fifty miles off the coast in the Gulf of Mexico, sending flames shooting into the darkness, and taking the lives of eleven men.
An Esquire magazine article stated it well: “There were eleven of them who died on the Deepwater Horizon. They died on the black ocean, in the black night, far away from our eyes or our interest, in untrammeled obscurity.”
BP has announced the official end of clean-up efforts from the Deepwater Horizon disaster. It has also recently announced, with great exuberance, that it is re-entering the Gulf of Mexico to resume drilling. BP has moved on and is clearly excited about its prospects of once again making money off the Gulf. But, we should never forget these eleven men and how difficult it is for their families to ever truly move forward.
Today, we pay tribute to these eleven men:
— Jason Anderson, 35, of Midfield, Texas. A father of two. His wife, Shelley, said Thanksgiving was his favorite holiday. Anderson began preparing a will in February 2010 and kept it in a spiral notebook. It sank with the rig.
—Aaron Dale “Bubba” Burkeen, 37, of Philadelphia, Miss. His death at the Deepwater Horizon came on his wedding anniversary and four days before his birthday. He was married with two children.
—Donald Clark, 49, of Newellton, La. He was one of six workers scheduled to leave the rig on April 21, the day after the blast.
—Stephen Ray Curtis, 40, of Georgetown, La., Curtis was married and had two teenagers.
—Gordon Jones, 28, of Baton Rouge, La. Jones arrived on the rig the day before the explosion. He died three days before his sixth wedding anniversary and 10 minutes after talking to his pregnant wife, Michelle Jones. Their son, Max, was born three weeks later.
—Roy Wyatt Kemp, 27, Jonesville, La. Kemp was married. His daughter’s birthday was 3 days before the explosion. Kemp was one of six workers scheduled to leave the rig on April 21.
—Karl Kleppinger, Jr., 38, of Natchez, Miss. Kleppinger was a veteran of the first Gulf War and the father of one child.
—Keith Blair Manuel, 56, of Gonzales, La. Manuel had three daughters. He was a fan of LSU athletics and had football and basketball season tickets.
—Dewey A. Revette, 48, of State Line, Miss. Revette had been married to his wife, Sherri, for 26 years when the rig exploded. He was one of six workers scheduled to leave the rig on April 21.
—Shane M. Roshto, 22, of Liberty, Miss. His wife, Natalie, filed a lawsuit April 21, 2010, saying she suffered post-traumatic stress disorder after her husband was killed in the explosion. He was one of six workers who were set to leave the rig on April 21.
— Adam Weise, 24, Yorktown, Texas. Weise drove 10 hours to Louisiana every three weeks to work on the rig. A high school football star, he spent off- time hunting and fishing. He was one of six workers scheduled to leave the rig on April 21.
(Source: Associated Press)