Last October, the crew of the Deepwater Asgard was left in the path of Hurricane Zeta. Though Transocean and Beacon knew Zeta was approaching the oil rig, they failed to evacuate Asgard’s crew and even sent more people to it. In other words, these companies didn’t just ignore the safety of workers in Hurricane Zeta’s path—they knowingly kept the vessel there and sent more workers into danger.
What Happened During the Hurricane Zeta Incident?
Days before Zeta reached the Deepwater Asgard, the rig’s captain initiated the process to leave the area and avoid the storm. Yet, despite the approaching danger, onshore management ordered Asgard to stay where it was. As conditions deteriorated, the captain ordered the crew to unlatch the vessel with “no destination in mind.” At this point, the Deepwater Asgard wasn’t evading a storm as it would have been doing. It was fleeing.
“They lost power to some of the thrusters and didn’t have complete control at that point,” Arnold & Itkin Attorney Caj Boatright commented to Law360. “So, you’re really getting tossed around in a hurricane. It’s a very, very serious and very scary situation to be in when you don’t have control of your ship and you’ve got a storm that you’re right in the middle of like that.”
Accounts of the Deepwater Asgard’s encounter with the storm are harrowing. Crew members recall that the vessel was battered by Zeta and started to take on water at one point. Some of them sustained physical trauma, and many endured emotional distress, forcing them to consider if they’ll ever be able to work offshore again.
One of the crew members, a survivor of the Deepwater Horizon disaster, finds himself in disbelief that his life has now been placed at risk twice by large companies’ negligence.
When Companies Ignore Safety, Workers Suffer
These crew members faced lasting trauma caused by a calloused dedication to profits over safety. Moreover, they’re fortunate to be alive and able to share what happened. Only six years ago, similar negligence led to the deaths of all 33 people on the El Faro—a cargo ship that sank as it sailed through a hurricane.
On October 1, 2015, the El Faro sailed into the path of Hurricane Joaquin. The vessel’s owner, TOTE Maritime, failed to redirect the ship. Instead, TOTE opted to have it continue traveling close to the increasingly strong storm. Eventually, El Faro found herself battling 90-mph winds and waves estimated to have been between 20 to 30 feet tall. Adding to the El Faro’s struggles was the 40-year-old vessel’s unseaworthiness. The conditions that day were extreme for any ship, let alone one that was aging and improperly maintained.
Arnold & Itkin represented grieving widows of El Faro crew members who deserved answers and a path forward after the unthinkable. We knew their husbands shouldn’t have been forced to face that storm, and we fought relentlessly to make sure answers and justice were secured on their behalf.
Deepwater Asgard’s situation wasn’t very different from El Faro’s.
Both incidents were preventable had the companies in charge done the right thing. The difference between these incidents was fate—something companies should never leave their workers at the mercy of.
Arnold & Itkin Is Representing Multiple Deepwater Asgard Crew Members
Our offshore injury lawyers are currently demanding answers on behalf of multiple crew members who had their lives unnecessarily risked aboard the Deepwater Asgard. Our clients are suffering from physical and mental trauma. They’re uncertain about their ability to continue their offshore careers after suffering through the uncertainty of whether they’d step foot on land or see their loved ones again. Transocean and Beacon could’ve done the right thing, and they didn’t. We’ll fight for the justice these crewmembers deserve.
No matter what.If you’ve suffered while working offshore, call to find out what your options are at no cost: (888) 493-1629.