Downhome Magazine

Ranger Down

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Hello there. I have written a poem to pay tribute to the upcoming 40 year anniversary for the loss of The Ocean Ranger. There will be an original art piece to accompany the poem. It's in it's final stages. Thank you so much and take care.

Ranger Down

There is one thing that is certain and it's easy to say.
Mother Nature can giveth as well as taketh away.
For when it comes to our fate? We try so hard to master.
But things can quickly go sour and then turn into disaster.
Our essence can suffer as well as pose a great danger.
And this was proven the night when we lost Ocean Ranger.

A rig so prestigious, where high funds had been splurged.
With a reputation implying that she could not be submerged.
A premature brazen statement that should have led to great panic.
Because the same words had once surfaced regarding Titanic.
But due to status and stature many said it was sound.
Nobody pondered such thoughts that a man could be drowned.

The Ranger was stationed offshore, on the ocean so blue
On a fierce winter's night in 1982.
It was a night in our history where we paid a great cost.
A night where 84 lives would forever be lost.
A gut-wrenching disaster that pushed men to their brink.
What were their last efforts? Or did they have time to think?
No doubt they all wished for home, to be contented and warm.
Instead they were stuck on a rig in an unbearable storm.
After taking in water and with predicaments steep.
The great Ranger capsized and sank into the deep.

All men tried to fight to preserve that last breath.
But those 84 men would all fall to their death.
None had been speaking to loved ones, or were asleep in their bunk.
And not one was left living after the Ranger had sunk.
Their adrenaline pumping and emotions so frantic.
They all went to their graves in the salty Atlantic.
Their fate was now sealed, no matter how hard they did try.
They weren't even given the chance to say one last goodbye.

When the news hit the airwaves, all who heard were appalled.
How many were speechless? And how many had bawled?
How many spirits had broken just like a dry twig?
For the loved ones they lost who were out on that rig.
Nobody could sleep or even close an eyelid.
Did she actually sink? Yes, she most certainly did.
They didn't know how it happened. They didn't know how to feel.
But the whole realization was simply surreal.

Their confidence gone, where so high it once perched.
With not a single survivor. No matter how hard they searched.
The Ranger now silent, without function or sound.
And out of 84 lost men, only 20 were found.
Those men on the water had all lived life so brave.
And each one would succumb to a watery grave.
We will remember the hardship and look back on the tears.
All of these men have been absent for 40 long years.

Lives changed forever and a price highly paid.
Four decades gone by without new memories made.
All 84 gone without one living to find.
With heartbroken loved ones to grieve left behind.
Nothing but pictures to look at as the old memories roam.
The memories of explaining to young children why Daddy's not coming home.
A sadness within them that's lasting forever.
If they only had one last chance, where they could all be together.

One more day to see parents. One more day to see wives.
One more day to embrace and simply live out their lives.
It's an unwanted truth that glares straight in their face.
An bitter realty that they're forced to embrace.
So in the absence of answers and with new hardships begotten.
The lost Ocean Ranger will be not forgotten.

Curt Budden

Alberta
 
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