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2013 July 25, Thursday
Gulf of Mexico, Hercules 265 Rig

The jack-up rig we videotaped and photographed on Tuesday as it was burning and smoking with natural gas exploded that night. It burned all day yesterday. Today it is just a carcass. We'll let the photos and videos speak for themselves.  Here are a few photos; the video and a gallery of more photos is below, with a personal word from us while we have your attention. (thanks!)

Here's the video of the Hercules #265 platform from today at around 1pm CDT:


Before we provide the remainder of the photographs from today, we'd like to provide "a brief word from your sponsor" -- On Wings Of Care:  


WHY do On Wings Of Care volunteers risk our lives and spend our savings to fly all over the Gulf of Mexico waters and coastal areas?

Please look at the Google Earth picture above of flights we've taken just in the past couple of months over the Gulf: 

-- The thick blue lines in the eastern portion are flights over the Taylor Energy pollution site off the tip of Louisiana and over the scene of the 2010 BP oil disaster. 

-- The thick bright green line is our flight today out to the Hercules Offshore platform #256 that exploded this morning around 10 am CDT.

-- All of the other lines are flights in which we have been finding and tracking marine life -- rays, turtles, whales, whale sharks and other sharks, tuna, bonita, cobia, mullet, pogey, mackerel, redfish, and much more. These areas, 30-300 miles off our coastlines, are prime habitat for this entire web of life, where they have lived and thrived for eons before man arrived. These are the banks, the ridges, the valleys where plankton and fish-eaters and fish flourish and come from all over the globe to eat, to breed, to season.

There are also hundreds of oil drilling and production platforms in this area. We have documented small- to large-scale pollution events at or around many of them. In the deep blue water, and in the shallower green water.

We don't fly over these waters because we're looking for drama, or villainizing the oil and gas industry, or trying to be a front-line news source. We do it because we care so much about the life and the lives that depend on these waters, because we feel that the health of our own society and us as individuals, for generations to come, depend enormously on the health of these waters.

We need to stop polluting and poisoning these waters and decimating species with our carelessness and insufficient caring.

We need a Gulf of Mexico Regional Citizens' Advisory Council (GoM RCAC) in order to make sure that these waters are protected -- by citizens, not corporations. By people whose primary concern is the protection, health, and preservation of this great habitat, for the sake of many generations to come.
 Citizens of the Gulf Coast have come together and are proposing legislation for just such a Council, and you'll see petitions and newspaper articles about it in the weeks to come. Please sign one and appeal to your own Congressmen and Senators to support it!

And one last appeal:  Please note that 
that On Wings Of Care operates solely on a volunteer basis. We give our energies, abilities, and our own monies to do this work. But our aircraft require funds to be fueled and maintained to a high standard of safety. And our animal rescue work invariably also requires funds for veterinary and other assistance.  All of your donations are fully tax-deductible, and we keep impeccable records. You will know exactly where your donations go, and they will go exactly where you want them to go.  Please consider supporting us, so we can continue to serve you, our fellow species on this planet, and all of our precious habitats.

Thanks for listening!


Here are a few more photos of the Hercules 265 rig today: