As oil continues to gush from the BP well in the Gulf of Mexico, another crisis this month nearly 50 years ago is being remembered. The C.P. Baker, a catamaran-type drilling barge had started to drill when the water around the vessel began to bubble, boil and eventually geyser up with some force between the hulls of the C.P Baker – similar to the way the BP disaster started.
When water entered the vessel through open doors on the main deck, electric power was lost. The crew attempted notify supervisors of the blowout, but an explosion encompassed the entire vessel, covering an area up to 100 feet around the vessel.
Most survivors evacuated the vessel by jumping from the port bow. Two support vessels evacuated survivors from the rig and picked up survivors from the water. The rig foundered and, after around 30 minutes, C.P. Baker sank by the stern. Gas continued to erupt and burn for the following 13 hours, with some gas release continuing for more than a month.
Of the 43 crew on board, eight were confirmed dead with 13 missing, presumed dead and 22 injured. Aboard the M/V Delta Service, one crew member was killed and another injured. The vessel itself was found upside-down by divers the following month. Three craters were also observed nearby, up to 20 feet across and caused by the blowout.
In accidental deaths such as this, knowing your rights is critical. Questions may only be answered by experts who have dealt with similar situations. The Doan Law Firm P.C. has extensive experience in personal injury and wrongful death and can assist any family suffering loss or injury. Contact The Doan Law Firm, P.C., led by Houston personal injury attorney Jimmy Doan, at 1 Riverway, Suite 1700, Houston, Texas 77056, (713) 869-4747 or (800) 910-FIRM.