Deepwater joint investigation board concludes 1st day in 2nd session of hearings

KENNER, La. – The Deepwater Horizon joint  investigation concluded the first day of the second session of hearings Wednesday into the circumstances surrounding the explosion, fire, pollution and sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon, with multiple loss of life in the Gulf of Mexico on April 20, 2010.

The joint investigation has the powers of both convening agencies, the United States Coast Guard (USCG) and the Minerals Management Service (MMS), and is co-chaired and staffed by representatives of both agencies. For the public hearing, the joint investigation is following the policies and procedures for a U.S Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation contained in 46 Code of Federal Regulations Part 4 and USCG policy (available on the joint investigation Web site: www.deepwaterinvestigation.com ).  The facts collected at this hearing, along with the lead investigators’ conclusions and recommendations will be forwarded to Coast Guard Headquarters and MMS for approval. Once approved, the final investigative report will be made available to the public and the media. No analysis or conclusions will be presented during the hearing.

The joint investigation is conducting the hearings in sessions.  Session one was held May 11-12, 2010, and investigated the circumstances surrounding the fire, explosion, pollution and sinking of the MODU.  The second session is being conducted this week, with the focus on gathering information on the MODU’s materiel condition, crew qualifications, emergency preparedness, and casualty timeline. The third session of hearings will focus on the “how” and the “why” (which might also be considered the “technical verification” phase), and is tentatively scheduled for mid-July.

The second session of hearings began Wednesday at 8 a.m.  Testimony was given by seven witnesses, with testimony ending at 7:30 p.m.

The witnesses Wednesday were:

  • Carl Smith – Consultant, expert witness on the management and operation of MODUs
  • Douglas Brown – Transocean, chief mechanic Deepwater Horizon
  • David Forsyth – American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), assistant chief surveyor
  • Arinjit Roy – American Bureau of Shipping (ABS), surveyor
  • David McKay – Det Norske Veritias (DNV)
  • Steve Tink – BP; health, safety and environmental manager
  • Adrian Rose – Transocean, health, safety and environmental manager

Thursday’s public hearing is scheduled to begin at 8 a.m. at the Radisson New Orleans Airport, 2150 Veterans Blvd., Kenner, La. in the Bayou meeting room.  Thursday’s witnesses are scheduled to be:

  • James Mansfield – Transocean, assistant marine engineer Deepwater Horizon
  • Jimmy Harrell – Transocean, offshore installation manager Deepwater Horizon
  • Curt Kuchta – Transocean, master Deepwater Horizon
  • David Young – Transocean, chief mate Deepwater Horizon
  • Chad Murray – Transocean, chief electrician Deepwater Horizon

For Deepwater Horizon joint investigation information:www.deepwaterinvestigation.com

For Deepwater Horizon oil spill response information: www.deepwaterhorizonresponse.com

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