Mother of drowned Bangladeshi joins Mermaid Marine suit

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The mother of a Bangladeshi geologist who died in a storm on an oil platform in the Gulf of Mexico last month has joined survivors suing for damages in a US court.

Hosneara Begum of Bangladesh is one of four parties suing two US companies and Fremantle-based Mermaid Marine over the accident that took the life of her son Nadimuzzaman Khan.

Last month a family lawsuit made allegations Mermaid Marine’s management of the storm was “tantamount to murder at sea”.

Aaron Houweling, a 33-year-old from Narangba in southeast Queensland was also one of three workers killed in the storm.

The ten workers were forced to evacuate the offshore Trinity II platform during tropical storm Nate on September 8 after one of its support legs collapsed.

Survivors claim that instead of being picked up by the nearby Mermaid Vigilance ship they were forced to fend for themselves.

The survivors clung to the sides of a tiny cork life raft for three days in heavy rains and open seas.

They were rescued three days later by the Mexican Navy after drifting around 200 kilometres.

Mr Khan died just hours after being rescued.

Begum said she had suffered mental anguish and grief after the death of her son.

She said she had also suffered the loss of care, support, and financial assistance from him.

None of the platform’s 10 oil workers were employed by Mermaid Marine, but its ship Vigilance was contracted to provide services and support to seismic work being done by Texan company Geokinetics.

In a statement to the Australian stock exchange Mermaid Marine said it was not liable for the deaths of the workers.

Its managing director Jeff Weber said the company was upset by the loss of life.

“We are deeply saddened by the tragic loss of the four personnel and our thoughts and sympathies are with their families, friends, and colleagues,” he said.

The company said while the Vigilance was nearby at the time of the storm it turned away to protect its crew.

“The master of the vessel was forced to take evasive action to protect the personnel on board,” it said.

Image: The Trinity II platform, courtesy AP

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