There were 126 personnel on the Deepwater Horizon oil rig Wednesday night when an explosion turned the rig into a fireball. Since then there have been many numbers. 7 critically wounded, 115 accounted for, 94 okay, and 11. The most important number being 11. It represents the number missing.
I have mentioned before that my dad works in the oil business, and spends many days on a rig very similar to the Deepwater Horizon. And it was not too long ago that he was in the Gulf. Over time many of the men trade in and out of companies, as well as on and off different oil rigs. People move and shift, but many keep in touch.
It was no surprise this morning when I called my dad about the accident, that there were men attached to the Horizon that he knew. There is a distinct moment when your stomach rolls in instances like this. Moments when reality hits far too close to home. These rigs are built with safety in mind. The men go through extensive training on a routine basis to keep them prepared. But accidents happen. In an instance the whole world can be turned upside down, and leave you feeling breathless.
I consider myself infinitely blessed that it is not my family experiencing this tragic accident first hand. And while there are ties that bind us to the events yesterday, we are far removed in comparison. It is my sincere prayer that the 11 reported missing are found and doing well, and that God will cradle them and their families in the protective palm of His hand.
My request from you today; keep these men and their families on your mind and hearts. Pray for their safety, and their rescue. As night descends on the gulf, the search has been halted for the night. But the rig still burns, and the 11 remain.