Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service to continue their joint investigation into Deepwater Horizon incident

NEW ORLEANS – The U.S. Coast Guard and Minerals Management Service are scheduled to continue their co-chaired investigation May 26-29 to identify the factors leading to the explosion, loss of life, sinking, and subsequent oil spill of the Deepwater Horizon Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit.

Originally scheduled to resume May 25, the joint investigation board has changed the start date to May 26.

“The joint investigation will not hold any public hearings on Tuesday, May 25, as previously scheduled, out of respect for the planned memorial for the 11 Deepwater Horizon workers that are missing,” said Coast Guard Capt. Hung Nguyen, co-chair of the joint investigation.

“Both USCG and MMS panel members have a commitment to determine the causes of this incident as well as what can be done to ensure that this does not happen again,” said David Dykes, of the Minerals Management Service and co-chair of the joint investigation. “We owe this to the memory and honor of the 11 missing rig workers.”

U.S. Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen, Minerals Management Service Director S. Elizabeth Birnbaum, Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano and Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar signed an order convening the joint investigation. This joint investigation is classified as a Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation as defined with Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4.09 and a panel investigation as defined within Title 30, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 250.101.

Mr. David Dykes, MMS, and Captain Hung Nguyen, USCG, are the co-chairs of the joint investigation.

The USCG and MMS share jurisdiction for the investigation of casualties occurring on the Outer Continental Shelf. The agencies have a Memoranda of Agreement establishing the roles and responsibilities related to each agency’s areas of expertise.

Upon completion of the joint investigation, the team will issue a single report to the MMS Director and the Commandant of the Coast Guard containing the evidence brought forward, facts established and its conclusions and recommendations. The report will be submitted simultaneously to both agencies. The Commandant of the Coast Guard and the MMS Director will jointly sign and release the final report.

The public hearing for the joint investigation is scheduled to continue May 26-29, 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. (CDT) at the Radisson New Orleans Airport, 2150 Veterans Blvd., Kenner, LA – Bayou Meeting Room.

A list of witnesses and additional information can be found on the Deepwater Investigation website.

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