A walk-through of the Ocean Ranger disaster

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The Ocean Ranger sank on February 14, 1982. The rig, which was drilling in Hibernia, one of Canada's most promising oil fields, was more than 400 feet long and was as high as a 35-storey building. It was known as the "world's mightiest drilling rig" and was considered "indestructible." Yet, it sank, taking with it all 84 men on board, and leaving mothers without sons, wives without husbands and children without fathers.

This disaster is the event around which February by Lisa Moore revolves. Helen O'Mara's husband, Cal, was one of the workers who drowned that night, leaving her to raise their three (soon to be four) children alone.

On February 21, 1982, one week after the disaster, Sunday Morning on CBC Radio looked at what happened and why. We pulled this segment from the CBC Archives and you can listen to it in the audio player above. 

For more on the Ocean Ranger, check out this Quirks & Quarks segment from the same week that explores the science behind the disaster. In February 2012, The Current looked at the 30-year legacy of the Ocean Ranger.


Trent McClellan is defending February during the Canada Reads debates February 11-14.

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