A disturbing account from another survivor of the Deepwater Horizon suggests that Transocean, the owner of the rig, deliberately isolated the survivors from contact with the outside world for more than a day and a half in what the survivor suggested was an attempt to sign away liability.
By Davis’s estimate, it took 12-15 minutes to get from the rig to the work boat, but it would take another 36-40 hours before they were to return to shore – even though there were dozens of boats in the area and Coast Guard helicopters airlifting the most severely injured to hospital.
Some of the men were openly furious, while others, like Davis, were just numb. He says they were denied access to the onboard satellite phone or radio to call their families.
When the ship finally did move, it did not head for shore directly, stopping at two more rigs to collect and drop off engineers and coast guard crew before arriving at Port Fourchon, Louisiana.
The company was ready for the men then, with portable toilets lined up at the dock for drug tests. The men were loaded on to buses, given a change of clothing and boxes of sandwiches, and taken to a hotel in Kenner, Louisiana, where finally they were reunited with their families.
Lawyers say the isolation was deliberate and that Transocean was trying to wear the men down so they would sign statements denying that they had been hurt or that they had witnessed the explosion that destroyed the rig.
“These men are told they have to sign these statements or they can’t go home,” said Buzbee. “I think it’s pretty callous, but I’m not surprised by it.”
Davis had been awake nonstop for about 50 hours by that point. He signed. Buzbee says most of the men did.
So Transocean and whatever other actors involved in the rescue kept the men out on the open water for more than a day and a half after their rescue, made a few pit stops, kept from contacting their family members, and then made to take drug tests as soon as they stop on shore.
While many men signed liability statements, it’s questionable they’ll protect Transocean from legal action. What’s clear though is that, like BP having fishermen sign liability statements immediately after the disaster, Transocean was far more interested in covering its own ass than helping their workers or putting a stop to the looming environmental disaster.