Exclusive Information No.42 ; Special English Edition
                     42.The Oilrig Accident Reminds Me of My Dear Memory of "The Ocean Ranger"  
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Posted;July 13 2010 20:15
The oilrig that was caught in fire with the oil leaking in the sea of the southern Mexico sea is becoming bigger and worse. The media once reported the possibility of using the atomic bomb for the solution, though the US government denied it. This made me to write something about the oilrig, not because of the atomic bomb, but because I have a story about the oil rig in my past life as the trucking company top management some 20 years ago.


Dating back to a little past, when a few months passed after I came to this country, I happened to watch the TV of VOA or History, which reported the sinking of the world biggest oilrig in the ocean by the hurricane. I was shocked and watched the TV with keen interest. I recalled a good memory of it.


The story began back in around 1990 in my trucking businessperson age, when our best customer, cement manufacturing company, came to me for some business chance for us. They had a business plan of selling the oil cement to the oilrig named “The Ocean Ranger”. The biggest problem was how to transport the cement to the rig.


The transportation of the bulk oil-cement, some 400-ton by the tank trucks, from Ube city in Yamaguchi to Hiroshima, about 80-kilometer, then to the oil rig that floats in the sea. The rig had been built in the shipping yard of Hiroshima Mitsubishi yard. The work was well accomplished, but has a story behind.

The big problem was how to mobilize the enough tank trucks for such a long distance on the surface with the additional sea transportation to the rig and that to a high silo. For this investigation, I went into the top of the rig with the American superintendent with whom I talked how to make the job done successfully.

The important point we two agreed and he promised that he would let the rig closer to the shore and that the rig would be leveled down in the water so that the silo comes lower to make the air-and-cement pushing into the silo easier and faster. The negotiation was made between me and the superintendent in the presence of the

manager of the cement manufacturing company and a young sales man from the Sumitomo trading company. I was like a hero in the talk with my command of English for the negotiation how to make it in success. 

The operation was tough with the drivers long hour driving and operation, which I succeeded in having good understanding and support from the labor union. My passion to accomplish such a historical big operation made me succeed everything including the transportation fee demand to the manufacturing company.

However, on the very day we go into operation, the American superintendent came to say to me that he could not keep the promise, he made to me, and that was to keep the rig close to the shore and that deep into the sea for making the cement pushing up easier.

It was the first time that I ever made a quarrel-like big conversation in English with an American! The persons mentioned before, watched us with anxiety and surprise. The Sumitomo man said to me later days that in all his long experiences as a salesman, he has never seen such a dramatic scene in all his careers as a salesperson.

I had a Japanese way of thinking while he had in the American way. Mine is that what I promised I will get it done by all mean by my own responsibility, while his attitude was that he has no power to say anything to his boss who said No.

There was no choice but to get the operation done regardless of whether or not the condition is kept. We made the work successfully anyhow. We two had had a promise to have a drink together after the operation finished. The morning after the day, I called him at his hotel to fix the date for our promise. However, he politely declined saying that his boss wanted him to move somewhere for his next work. He said to me, “I shall never forget about you. Good luck to you!”.

Now here in the Philippines, I came to know of an oilrig which is bringing about the most terrible oil pilling still unsolved. This brought me to write the story of another oilrig, which was then known as the biggest one in the world.

                                                                                        Writer & Editor : Yuuki Yoshida
               (A-bomb Survivor Testimony Writer-Speaker & Healthy-Sound Life Adviser ; Laguna, Republic of the Philippines) 
yoshida.yuuki@a-bombsurvivor.com         Back to Top(Jpn)      Back to Top(Eng)

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