Search For Missing Rig Supervisor Ends

The missing man, working for Global Marine subsidiary Applied Drilling Technology, Inc. at the time of the incident, was identified as Ben Freeman, 61, from DeRidder, La.

At dusk Saturday, the U.S. Coast Guard ceased its search for the missing supervisor. Global Marine continued its vigil by helicopter through the daylight hours on Sunday.A thorough search of the rig revealed no signs of Ben.

In speaking with the Freeman family, Global Marine representatives were asked to provide the following statement to media:

Ben has always been a tremendously loving husband, father and grandfather. We still hold on to hope for his safe return home. We greatly appreciate the efforts of all involved, including ADTI and the U.S. Coast Guard, and we are thankful for your many thoughts and prayers.

Should the search efforts not locate him, we as a family are proud that his last thoughts and efforts were to ensure the safety of his crew. We ask that the press respect our privacy in this situation.

The cause of the well control incident is still unknown. Visual observations by both aircraft and boat revealed no evidence of water discoloration or sheen. On Sunday, the Marine 304 was dispatched to drill a relief well for plugging operations. The relief well is expected to take about three weeks to drill. Additionally, the company plans to mobilize a derrick barge to the well site and attempt to cap the well at the surface.