In the Gulf of Mexico, spill response vessels leave the Macondo drilling area in advance of an approaching and potentially problematic Tropical Storm Bonnie:
Meanwhile, the former Deepwater Horizon chief electronics technician Michael Williams testified that an alarm system designed to automatically alert the crew and prevent combustible gases from reaching potential sources of ignition had been deliberately disabled:
Williams told the panel that he understood that the rig had been operating with the gas alarm system in "inhibited" mode for a year to prevent false alarms from disturbing the crew.
Williams said that when he discovered that the alarm system was inhibited, he reported it to supervisors. He said they informed him that orders were to keep it that way.
If the safety system was disabled, it would not have been unusual. Records of federal enforcement actions reviewed by The Washington Post show that, in case after case, rig operators paid fines for allegedly bypassing safety systems that could impede routine operations.
Apparently, other critical were also impaired on the rig.
All in all, it was a far cry from what we might envision as being "operationally safe & secure" and certainly not anywhere close "regulationally compliant."
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