Thursday, February 15, 2007

Speaking of errors...

There was an innocuous yet significant error in Jeff Gilhooly's intro to the CBC Radio Morning Show today at 6 am. Pretty much the entire program is marking the 25th anniversary of the loss of the Ocean Ranger, and there is some powerful content here (I am still tuned to the show as I write).

In his opening remarks, Gilhooly said, in effect, that the people of this province awoke 25 years ago to news that the Ocean Ranger had been lost. I remember those terrible days clearly, and one of the most troublesome aspects was the lack of such information in the early hours. All we knew at first was that something was wrong. By midday, if memory serves, we knew that the rig was no longer showing on radar and several more painful hours elapsed before it was confirmed that all hands had been lost.

This is less a criticism than an observation. I can appreciate how perceptions of events can become compressed with the passage of time. And if you weren't here to experience the disaster, it's an easy mistake to make.

1 comment:

B. L. Smith said...

I am glad you mentioned this. I remember it well while living on the MUN campus at Squires House. My roommate had a habit of falling asleep with the radio on and the one thing I remember is waking and hearing that the Ocean Ranger had been reported as listing. In any case, I thought a friend of mine who worked on that oil rig was one of the crew in trouble. After waiting what seemed like an eternity, I learned, thankfully, that he was not. 84 others were not so fortunate.