Liberals Remember Cougar Flight 491 Tragedy

Liberals Remember Cougar Flight 491 Tragedy

March 12, 2009 is a day that will never be forgotten by any resident of Newfoundland and Labrador. The crash of Cougar Flight 491 into the North Atlantic Ocean, en route to the SeaRose Floating Production Storage and Offloading vessel, resulted in the deaths of 17 people. Only one person survived.

A memorial service will be held this evening, at 7:00 p.m. at Corpus Christi Church on Waterford Bridge Road in St. John’s. The public is encouraged to attend in remembrance of those who perished and to offer condolences.

This tragedy calls to mind an earlier one — the wreck of the Ocean Ranger on February 15, 1982, which resulted in 84 deaths.

Newfoundland and Labrador’s economy has been transformed by the offshore oil and gas industry. It has elevated the standard of living in the province, and served as a major employer and economic focal point.

But these tragedies remind us that the industry involves real peril, and that the men and women who make their living in the offshore oil patch undertake significant risk in their occupation. Their willingness to work in this industry despite the risk ensures that Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil economy remains vibrant and dynamic.

The Liberal Party of Newfoundland and Labrador offers its deepest condolences to those who lost family and friends in the Cougar Flight 491 crash, and its unwavering support to individuals working in the offshore industry.