The Deepwater Horizon joint investigation board
concluded April 4 the first day of its seventh session of hearings examining the circumstances surrounding the loss of 11 lives, the sinking of the Mobile Offshore Drilling Unit Deepwater Horizon and subsequent oil spill
in the Gulf of Mexico
, following the April 20, 2010 explosion and fire aboard the Deepwater Horizon.
The joint investigation board has the powers of both convening agencies, the United States Coast Guard
and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, Regulation and Enforcement
(BOEMRE), and is co-chaired and staffed by representatives of both agencies. For the public hearing, the joint investigation is following the policies and procedures for a U.S Coast Guard Marine Board of Investigation contained
in Title 46, Code of Federal Regulations, Part 4 and Coast Guard policy (available on the joint investigation Web site at www.deepwaterjointinvestigation.com). The facts collected at this hearing, along with the lead investigators' conclusions and recommendations, will be forwarded to Coast Guard Headquarters and BOEMRE for approval. Once approved, the final investigative report will be made available to the public. No analysis or conclusions will be presented during the hearing.
The joint investigation board is conducting the hearings in sessions. Session one was held May 11-12, 2010, and investigated the circumstances surrounding the fire, explosion, pollution and sinking of the Deepwater Horizon. The second session was held May 26-29, 2010, with the focus on gathering information on the Deepwater Horizon's materiel condition, crew qualifications, emergency preparedness, and casualty timeline. The third session of hearings, which could be considered the "technical verification" phase, was held July 19-23, 2010, with the focus on the "how" and the "why" of the accident. The fourth session was held Aug. 23-27, 2010, with a focus on the recovery, analysis, and evaluation of the critical drilling equipment. The fifth session of hearings was held Oct. 4-8, 2010, with the focus on safety management systems
, organizational decision making and safety culture. The sixth session was held Dec. 7-9, 2010, with a focus on instrumentation data and evaluation of the management system, organizational decision making and safety culture.
The seventh session of hearings began Monday and is scheduled to continue through Friday. As part of the seventh session, testimony Monday began at 8 a.m. and concluded at 3:30 p.m. Testimony was given by two witnesses.
Testifying Monday were: