The Byford Dolphin Accident: Death by Explosive Decompression on the ‘Deep Sea Driller’

It is known as one of the most horrific accidents in offshore drilling history.

On November 5, 1983, five people were killed while drilling in a gas field in the North Sea on a Norwegian semi-submersible oil rig. They were in a decompression chamber system and the trunk when the chamber explosively decompressed.

In an instant, the chamber decompressed from a pressure of nine atmospheres to one atmosphere. All of the men were instantly killed, though the one closest to the door endured the most violent death. He literally exploded.

Because it happened so instantaneously, they allegedly felt no pain whatsoever. Let’s hope that’s true.

However, despite the severity of the incident, one man did manage to survive; though he suffered very serious injuries.

According to Roy Lucas’ daughter, Clare, those who saw what happened will never forget the horrors they witnessed.

It was like someone shaking a bottle of pop and opening the top. Talking to people who saw it is virtually impossible because they have been so traumatized by it and can’t speak about it.

The dreadful accident occurred when Lucas’ colleague Billy Crammond opened up the hatch to the decompression chamber they were working in. At that moment, the chamber lost an immense amount of pressure.

Investigations into the incident revealed that faulty equipment caused the chamber to open while under pressure.

Unfortunately, the laws of physics are extremely cruel.

Pictures of the accident have been posted on the Internet to reveal the shocking effects of death by explosive decompression. But do be warned, they are incredibly graphic and not suitable for all audiences.