Sep 27, 2011 10:36 AM by Melissa Hawkes
The Louisiana offshore workers who were missing for three days in the Gulf of Mexico during Tropical Storm Nate are taking their case to the courts.
Ted Derise Jr. of New Iberia, Jeremy Parfait of Houma, along with family of Craig Myers, one of the deceased workers from New Iberia, filed a lawsuit last week.
The family tells their attorney, they want the tragedy to change offshore regulations- ensuring this never happens again.
Attorney Francis Spagnoletti said he understands mistakes happen while working offshore, but the tragedy involving the men of the Trinity II could have been prevented.
He explained, " by having procedures that are common sense and picking men up when they have to abandon a platform because its damaged."
Spagnoletti said the first step would have been answering Captain Jeremy Parfait's mayday call, but no one came to the workers' rescue.
According to a statement from survivor, Ted Derise Jr., a vessel operated by Geokinetics and Mermaid Marine actually left the men for dead.
The complaint said "the vessel abandoned the crew of the trinity II and cut and ran for base and shelter. All of these actions took place with the full knowledge of the circumstances of the Trinity Two's horrifying postion."
Spagnoletti said, "they just abandoned their own devices and it resulted in serious injury and the death of a number of individuals."
He went on to explain, after being left, the crew got ready to get into a life boat equipped with food and water, but the wind blew it away, so the men had no choice but to evacuate to a small raft without any survival tools.
"It was made out of hard cork, in the middle of it had nothing but netting so it was open to the water," he said. "They should have such survival suits operating over the water, particularly if you are going to leave them out there in the rough water."
The crew was rescued four days later, but a few of the men had already lost their lives. The investigation is just in the beginning stage,s but the attorney says the famlies want to make sure the victims didn't die in vain.
KATC has tried to reach Geokinetics to see if one of their vessels did in fact abandon the men. Our phone calls and emails have not been returned.
Three companies are being sued. The workers' attorney says he doesn't think all the companies share equal blame. He said he's confident as the investigation continues, light will be shed on who is overly responsible for this tragedy.
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