Designer’s concept presented for offshore memorial
November 4, 2013 By The Southern Gazette
Nov. 4, 2013, St. John's - A concept for the design of an offshore memorial was unveiled in the capital city last week.
Family members gathered at Quidi Vidi
Lake in St. John’s Wednesday, the site of the future memorial to the
victims of Cougar 491 and the 1985 Universal Helicopter crashes, as the
designer’s concept for the monument was presented.
The proposal, put forward by artist Luben Boykov and landscape
architect Frederick Hann, was chosen through competition by a committee
of family members and representatives from the provincial government,
industry, labour and the arts community.
Premier Kathy Dunderdale said “In a province like Newfoundland and
Labrador, where family and community are entrenched in everything we do,
tragedies such as the Universal and Cougar 491 helicopter crashes touch
us collectively as a people.
“As a government, it is our sincere hope the memorial will not only
serve as a lasting reminder of those who lost their lives in these
tragedies, but also a place that speaks to the impact they had on the
lives of all who knew them.”
Six offshore oil industry workers died Mar. 13, 1985 when a Universal
helicopter crashed after leaving the Bow Drill oilrig in Placentia Bay.
Cougar 491 crashed Mar. 12, 2009 while en route to the SeaRose FPSO in the White Rose oil field and Hibernia Platform in the Hibernia oilfield,
killing 17 of the 18 passengers onboard. Two residents of the Burin
Peninsula – Wade Drake and Burch Nash – were aboard the Cougar flight.
Tourism, Culture and Recreation Minister Terry French said “The goal
was to establish a monument that would keep the memories of the victims
alive and make it a place of peaceful contemplation. The committee
believes the design presented today has met these goals and will serve
as a fitting memorial to the victims of these tragedies.”
The City of St. John’s partnered with the provincial government and
donated the land for the memorial site and provided technical
The intent of the memorial is not only to capture the loss of life in
two offshore helicopter tragedies, but to offer a sense of lives lived
and the rekindling of hope. The monument’s design includes a spiraling
stainless steel sculpture at its centre, which is representative of the
aerial screw prototype of the first rotary-type flying machine
envisioned by Leonardo da Vinci in the late 15th century.
Along the spiral of the aerial screw, the names of the 23 victims of
both helicopter tragedies will be cut into the stainless steel. Light
will be a prominent feature of the memorial, and will shine skyward
through the open cutwork of the names.