Gulf of Mexico Oil Spill Blog Victims of Deepwater Horizon

On this day we remember the victims. Lets not forget about the oil workers aswell.

Gulf Oil Spill Roy

Roy Wyatt Kemp was scheduled to come home, for a time, the day after Deepwater Horizon exploded.  His little daughter, three-year-old Kaylee, was counting down the days.  It was something she always did whenever her father was expected.

The Natchez Democrat, a Mississippi newspaper which ran stories about some of the Deepwater 11, provides more details about Wyatt and his family.  There we learn that Kaylee’s countdown for her father’s return ended when her mother told her he could not come home again.
The following is from Wyatt’s obituary, provided online by Young’s Funeral Home in Jonesville, Louisiana:
Wyatt was born on January 21, 1983 in Ferriday, La. to Peggy Kemp and the late Sandy Lee Kemp. He was a resident of Jonesville, La. and a member of Pleasant Grove Baptist Church in Jonesville, La.  Wyatt was a devoted husband [to Courtney Carpenter Kemp], father [of Kaylee Joyce and Clara Maddison] and son but most of all he was a man who loved the Lord. Wyatt had a unique sense of humor. He loved the outdoors and was an avid fisherman and hunter. He enjoyed spending time with his family, friends, hunting dog Ellie, and fellow crewman of the Deepwater Horizon owned by his employer, Transocean Deepwater Drilling.
It is believed that Wyatt died while working in the mud pit, where drilling materials are handled, or in a nearby shaker room.  He was 27 years old.

Gulf Oil Spill Gordon

From Baton Rouge, Louisiana, Gordon Jones and his wife Michelle were expecting their second child at the time Deepwater Horizon exploded.  Twenty-four days after her husband died in the disaster, Michelle gave birth to another son.  His name is Maxwell Gordon Jones.

Gordon (who was employed by M-I-SWACO) was a mud engineer aboard the oil rig.  He was twenty-eight years old on the day he disappeared in the blast.  A week earlier, as depicted in this photo, he was having fun with his son Stafford.

Jones and five other victims were working below deck, either in the mud pit (where drilling materials were handled) or in the nearby shaker room.  They were likely killed in the initial blast.

Gulf Oil Spill weiseAdam Weise – from Yorktown, Texas – was a floor hand aboard the Deepwater Horizon at the time the rig exploded.  The youngest of four children, Adam began working offshore immediately after graduating from high school. 

A popular football player, during his high school years, Adam was 24 years old when he died in the Deepwater Horizon disaster.  He and five other victims were working below deck, either in the mud pit (where drilling materials were handled) or in the nearby shaker room.  They were likely killed in the initial blast.

Gulf Oil Spill aaron

Dale Burkeen, a 37-year-old Mississippian who operated the rig’s tall starboard crane, had been trying to get out of harm’s way when the blast hit. It blew him off a catwalk, other workers say, and he fell more than 50 feet to the deck, where he died.
A local newspaper reported that Dale helped other crew members to save their lives, but he was unable to get off the platform in time to save himself.

Known as “Big D,” to his friends and family, Burkeen was the kind of guy who put others first.  His cousin, Douglas Walker, describes him this way:

Dale was a very unselfish person, very kind-hearted. He always has been through life. He’s the type of guy who would give you the shirt off his back, if you needed it.

Gulf Oil Spill Curtis

Stephen Curtis – from Georgetown, Louisiana – was an assistant driller on the Deepwater Horizon.  Forty years old on the day the rig exploded (April 20, 2010), he left behind his wife and two teenage children.

He was a 1987 graduate of Georgetown High School and had worked in the oil industry seventeen years.  He’d followed the footsteps of his dad, Howard Curtis, who served as a diver-welder for thirty-four years.

It is believed Mr. Curis died on the rig floor.

Gulf Oil Spill revette

On the day he disappeared in the Deepwater Horizon explosion, Dewey Revette was 48 years old.  He was a driller from State Line, Mississippi.

He is believed to have died while working on the rig floor.

Gulf Oil Spill Anderson

Jason Anderson was the most senior of the eleven men who died in the Deepwater Horizon explosion.  Thirty-five years old, he was hours away from leaving the rig for a new assignment.  With his wife, Shelly, he had a son and a daughter.

Highly respected by his crewmates, Jason did his best to cope with a disastrous situation after gas had escaped from the wellhead, nearly 5,000 feet below the platform.  Working on the rig floor, Jason and two others tried to stop the flow of gas before Deepwater Horizon exploded.  He and three others – Stephen Ray Curtis, Donald Clark and Dewey Revette – are believe to have died on the rig floor.

Bloomberg reports on his final efforts which saved many lives.

Gulf oil Spill Donald

Donald Clark was an assistant driller from Newelton, Louisiana.  He was aboard Deepwater Horizon when the vessel exploded on the 20th of April, 2010. 

At the time of his death, as a result of the disaster, Mr. Clark was married to Sheila Clark.  He also left behind two sons and two daughters.

According to his obituary, family members sometimes called him “Duck.”  Mr. Clark was “from a loving family who will miss his very presence.  He was a gentle individual who had a big impact on his loved ones daily.”

Gulf Oil Spill ShaneShane Roshto, an employee of Transocean, was 22 years old on the 20th of April, 2010.  He was working on board the Deepwater Horizon oil rig as a floor hand.  The youngest of the eleven explosion victims, he left behind his wife (Natalie, age 21) and son (Blaine, age 3). 

Gulf Oil Spill BlairBlair Manuel – from Gonzales, Louisiana – was 56 years old on the day Deepwater Horizon exploded.  He left behind his parents, three daughters and a fiancé with whom he was planning a July wedding. 

A mud engineer aboard the vessel, Mr. Manuel (who worked for M-I-SWACO) was also an avid LSU fan.  He had season tickets to LSU’s football games.

Manuel and five other victims were working below deck, either in the mud pit (where drilling materials were handled) or in the nearby shaker room.  They were likely killed in the initial blast.

Known to his hunting buddies as “Grow Bebe” – meaning “big baby” – Blair loved being outdoors.  He also loved to fish.

Gulf Oil Spill Karl

Karl Dale Kleppinger Jr. – from Natchez, Mississippi – was 38 years old on the 20th of April, 2010.  He and his wife, Tracy, had a son, Aaron.

It is believed that Karl died while working in the mud pit, where drilling materials are handled, or in a nearby shaker room.

For anyone wishing to donate in memory of Karl, the Kleppinger family asks that such donations be made to the Natchez Humane Society.  According to the condolences/donations page, at Transocean, “Karl and his wife adopted all of their animals” from this organization.

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