A St. John's man leading a vigil to remember the Ocean Ranger tragedy says he doesn't believe offshore safety has improved enough in the past 29 years.
"Not a lot has changed. Time goes on, but we are still very complacent about offshore safety," Anglican Rev. John Dinn told CBC Monday.
"I believe if you went back to look at the report that was done by the [Royal Commission] after the Ocean Ranger tragedy, there were many recommendations about offshore safety and a lot of them are outstanding today. I guarantee that would be a fact."
Dinn has spoken at St. Pius X church in St. John's for the past ten years at a memorial service to remember 84 men who died when the Ocean Ranger oil rig went down in 1982.
He said he stands by the strong comments he made at last year's service when he said "the price of oil is human beings."
At that time, it was less than a year after 17 people died when a Cougar helicopter ferrying workers offshore crashed into the ocean east of St. John's. Dinn criticized oil companies for focusing on profits over safety.
"Faceless oil companies are only concerned with profit," said Dinn on Feb. 15, 2010.
"That may not be nice to say but it's true … it's true … and unless you and I — through this service and other means — keep this in front of people, nothing will ever change. The price of oil, once again, is human beings."
The ceremony is organized by Gonzaga High School in St. John's.
Five of the school's alumni died when the Ocean Ranger rig sank during a vicious storm on Feb. 15, 1982.