The men who braved the chilly depths of the North Sea to help launch Norway’s oil industry received more official gratitude and a memorial to their efforts this week. Finance Minister Siv Jensen and Labour Minister Robert Eriksson unveiled the memorial at the Norwegian Oil Museum in Stavanger.
“The history of the the pioneering divers is a story of young men who ventured into a completely special workplace when Norway was a young oil nation,” Jensen said. North Sea divers who later suffered serious health problems and died on the job received compensation after years of fighting for it from the state, and many credit Jensen, Eriksson, Per Sandberg, Øyvind Vaksdal and Erlend Wiborg as being among those who deserve credit for getting the state to recognize the divers’ contribution to the oil industry.
Around 230 pioneering divers and their families, plus survivors of deceased divers, took part in Tuesday’s ceremony in Stavanger, known as Norway’s oil capital. Several survivors said they were glad they finally had a place to go, to honor the divers.
“It is with humility and respect that we take part in this arrangement to honor those who dared to dive deeply on behalf of us all,” Eriksson said in his remarks. Jensen said all Norwegians owe a debt of gratitude to the divers.