Ocean Ranger Inquiry

On February 15, 1982, the semi-submersible mobile offshore drilling unit “Ocean Ranger” sank and was one of the worst offshore accidents in Canadian history. The Ocean Ranger was drilling an exploration well on the Grand Banks of Newfoundland for Mobil Oil of Canada, Ltd with 84 crew members onboard when it sank. There were no survivors. Following this tragedy, a Royal Commission was established to conduct an inquiry into the Ocean Ranger disaster. The inquiry determined that the loss of life and sinking of the Ocean Ranger was caused by a chain of events, which resulted from human error, design inadequacies and deficiencies within the management system, coincident with severe storm conditions. The Royal Commission made 136 recommendations governing numerous aspects of training and competency, safety equipment, design and stability of the drilling unit, improvements to regulatory oversight and improvements to search and rescue. Following the issuance of the report, the Atlantic Accord Implementation Acts and associated regulations were issued and in 1986, the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board was created for the purposes of regulating the oil and gas industry offshore Newfoundland and Labrador. The reports of this inquiry can be found here.