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...was never a nickname I used around him, no sir. It was always Mr. Hansen. When Mr. Hansen told you to jump you asked how high, sir? He could manage a well control event like no other, and it was his way or the highway.

His favorite was Martin Kelly, I think, but was partial to James and David and Joe, accepted Ace, and I could tell you some stories about him and Coots getting into it like street dogs, but won't.

I respected the hell of out of him, as did everyone. He commanded it. I helped produce and wrote much of the talk-over script on a Modern Marvels segment for the History Channel once, about the history of well control and I was tasked to get Boots and Red on the same segment together. Not in the same room with each other, hell no; just on the same program. The couldn't stand each other then. I got it done but it was like pulling molars on two bore grizzly bears. Ten years later they mended fences and were OK again, often buddying up with Coots at the Offshore Technology Conference for drinks. Time heals lots of wounds, I guess; for Boots and Red it only took 30 years.

As a student of well control history I believe Boots was every bit as smart as Kinley and Adair and his engineering skills exceeded theirs. It often exceeded those of an actual engineer and he had little patience with them trying to run his jobs.

In Lake Maracaibo in 1986, on a sub-lake blowout for Lagoven, he arrived on the job to find the well blowing off the lake bottom several hundred feet in the air. The blowout was surrounded by work barges and workboats full of Lagoven engineers, the office in Caracas completely drained of them, all out there on the lake just waiting to pounce on Boots and tell him how to fix it. He listened, shook his head, said stuff like, yeah, hey, THAT's a good idea, nodded and smiled his way through the rest of the day... then called a meeting the next morning on a nearby workboat, all 19 Logaven engineers, 07:00 hrs., mandatory attendance.

Boots arrived on that workboat at 07:15 hrs., the next morning, dawn just cracking, took roll call and checked their names off a list. Without saying a word Boots stepped off the meeting boat to his personal workboat tied up alongside, waved adios to all 19 engineers and sent them to the beach, never to be seen again. Problem solved.

Boots Hansen capped that well two weeks later, the first known sub-sea, underwater blowout cap ever made.

This is a wonderful photo of Boots; it portrays him perfectly.


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