Oceans and Seas

the work of author Michael Krieger

Part 22 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 22 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Strange Noises on Deck The men, even those on deck, began to hear strange noises. Ray Pepperday, a muscular twenty-five-year-old satura­tion technician, kept all the specialized dive gear working. He remembered standing with the other dive staff, listening. “I started hearing a lot of noises internally, you know, structural creaking and then popping and stuff. The five years I had worked...

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Part 21 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 21 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Barge Under Tow In the supply room Gustavo’s shift had started at mid­night and was due to end at noon, when El Padre would take over. Saturday night had begun slowly. With the barge under tow, few calls were made for equipment. Gustavo had his as­sistants checked the lashings on all the larger equipment and made sure the screen doors on the enclosures for small items were also secured....

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Part 20 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 20 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Leaking Had Increased The leaks that had started weeks before, during Hurri­cane Opal, were centered in the starboard compressor room directly forward of the transom on the stern of the 269. While previously the pumps had been equal to the task of keeping up with the water coming in, by Sunday morning they no longer were. By 1000, leaking had increased and water was coming into two adjacent...

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Part 19 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 19 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Under the Hull Waves now were so high that as the 269 sank into a trough they would sizzle past the men on the heliodeck 40 feet above the waterline. Each time the heaving line went out from the bow of the barge and fell into the sea, and Trosclair would again back his tug just ahead of the menacing bow, which with one blow could sink his vessel, just push her right under. In seconds the sea...

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Part 18 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 18 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Abrupt Waves Dawn that Sunday was ominous. Menacing black skies, even well after daylight, briefly exposed eerie red­dish streaks near the eastern horizon. The bottoms of cumu­lonimbus were packed so tightly that they formed a dark layer from which came periods of heavy rain and a howling wind. The wind was tolerable; the seas were not. Mainly they were still coming from the northwest, but some...

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Part 17 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

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Part 17 – All the Men In the Sea: The Untold Story of One of the Greatest Rescues in History

Steep Waves The flat-bottomed barges did seem to ride well in the long swells of North Sea storms and also in some northerlies in the Gulf of Mexico. They did not ride well, however, in hurri­cane seas producing steep waves of short interval, such as had developed during Opal and are typical in shallow waters in heavy weather. Kevin read the weather reports and he was not convinced that Roxanne...

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