We steamed away from the Deepwater Horizon site at sunset under a cloudless sky. As the rigs and ships receded over the horizon, it was difficult to picture the very different scenario that was occurring the night of April 20. Sometimes, with so much attention focused on the environmental damage and the economic impact of the spill, it can be difficult for many people to recall the eleven men who lost their lives in the accident.
Ryan Harris, a crewmember on the Pisces, wanted to ensure these men were not forgotten. “Shortly after the disaster first happened, the Commanding Officer (CDR Jeremy Adams) and I thought it was sad that there was hardly any talk of the eleven people who died,” Harris said. “One night, we started a Facebook page, not really thinking it would go anywhere, but within a week we had over 1,000 people and it kept growing. Then, I started getting e-mails from the family members of the eleven guys.
We were quite surprised that there was no talk of doing any kind of memorial service out at the site. So, when we found out the Pisces would be going to the site back in July, I asked the CO if we could do a service out there. I talked to the family members to find out what they wanted to see at the memorial service, and there were lots of requests for eleven yellow roses. Out at the site, we had a moment of silence on the Pisces, as well as radio silence on the other ships out there. Everyone on the other ships was very supportive of it – these were their co-workers who died.
Harris also helped set up a bank account in Pascagoula for the families, and is hoping to find a way to bring them out to the Deepwater Horizon site for another memorial service. If you want to check out his Facebook page, it’s called “In Memory of the 11 Workers from the Deepwater Horizon RIP.”