Most of the victims drowned after they abandoned the rig and their life rafts were swamped by high seas.
Television footage showed the shattered remains of one orange life boat on a Gulf coast beach, its hard fibreglass shell ripped apart.
The failure of the life boats has provoked a scandal in Mexico, and legislators called for an investigation into whether they were supplied by a company purportedly linked to the family of Marta Sahagun, wife of Vicente Fox, the former president.
It was unclear whether the boats were defective or had been supplied by the company in question, Oceanografia.
But Fox, who is already the subject of a congressional probe of illegal enrichment allegations, quickly issued a statement saying "there is no link between the children of Marta Sahagun and the Oceanografia company".
Attempts on Wednesday by rescue crews in helicopters and rescue boats to reach life rafts were thwarted by six metre-high waves.