Thanks Odin   22 comments

In my last post I said it was another successful rig move, and it was. But it wasn’t all plain sailing.

After the removal of all seabed fastenings and having one AHV connected to the tow bridle, the Loke Viking and Brage Viking departed for Aberdeen, we were left with the tow vessel to do the, ah towing, and the Odin Viking, it was our ‘just in case boat’. Odin would stay with us all the way to Norway, we were pleased about this as we were heading into some pretty bad weather. Sam and I are not really needed while we are under tow but its nice to keep an eye on things and we are doing just that when at 2000 on the dot there was this very loud twang and the rig shudders, we both look at each other just as the radio comes to life, it’s the tow vessel with the news you don’t want to hear. “the tow wire has just snapped”.

We immediately take a fix of our position and then our position is plotted onto a chart, ok we are about 10 miles from the coast and we are drifting at 3 to 4 knots an hour toward land, not good. We have about three and a half hours to get under control. Onboard there are things called rocket lines, we had  six of them, the Odin Viking was called in as close as possible, now its a force 9 to 10 outside,(thats 54 mile an hour winds and 7-10m waves) pitch black and raining and these guys have to fire a rocket line at what looks like a very small target bobbing up and down and rocking side to side, out of the six lines two failed to go off and the other four missed there target, so now the Odin has a go, after all he is aiming at a bigger target, most miss. The last one, the one i’m looking at out the window makes contact, Sam and I and another bloke rush outside and grab the line, we coil it up and pass it on to the deck crew, they attach a buoy and stronger line to it and the Odin pulls it over, well thats how it should of worked, unfortunately the line breaks and we are no closer to safety, but closer to land. While all this was going on the Norwegian Coast Guard has been called and a rescue helicopter is scrabbled and on route, but that is still an hour out.

The next option was to drop an anchor on the seabed to slow our drift, now this isn’t as easy as it sounds, the seabed of the North Sea is criss crossed with pipelines and cables and other assets and we were only 3 miles from a major gas pipeline, but the decision was taken and it was given the go ahead, in this sort of weather and as the rig was at transit draft (high in the water) we could not use the cranes, so out with the gas axe, (a pennant is connected to the anchor and rig and this is what had to be cut) once cut the anchor winch was released and the anchor fell to the seabed, everybody was watching the screen for the telltale sign the anchor was making a difference, slowly the heading started to change and the speed drop, we slowed to 1.5 knots, that gave us 2 hours before we reached the pipeline.

By now 15 lucky or unlucky people had been picked for the first rescue chopper, one of us had to go and after some discussion Sam opted for the first chopper, I was going with the ‘better the devil you know’ option. I don’t like getting on a helicopter in nice sunny weather, never mine in a storm. After a manly shake of the hand and pat on the back off Sam went to get suited up in his survival gear, 30 mins later the chopper arrived on location, it had a go at landing but that wasn’t going to happen, so a guy comes down on a winch, he informs the 15 that they will be going up two by two on the winch into the Sea king, we watched all this on the TV monitor and thats when I knew I had made the right decision.

Once the coast guard rescue operation had finished a plan was hatched to let out around a 1000 meters of wire from the winch to the anchor we were dragging along the seabed and the Odin Viking would use a J hook connected to his work wire and try and grab the anchor wire, sounds impossible? No, on the third attempt the Odin Viking successfully hooked the wire and carefully winched it and eventually the anchor onto its deck, there was another 30 minutes or so of holding our breath until all was made secure, the look on everyones faces when that radio call came was priceless. We were back under control with a couple of hours to spare, just another day in the office.

Have to say well done to all involved, all the people on the rig were very professional, worked well together and stayed calm, The Norwegian Coast Guard were as professional as would be expected, and the crew of the Odin Viking, what can I say, the best.

 

20141027-124010

 

Remember theses guys were working on deck like this, on that night, in that storm. Hats off to them.

20141025-103059

The Vikings Are Back   7 comments

I haven’t worked with the Viking boats for a while and to make up for it we had three of them on my last rig move.

The Brage Viking here picking up 4 buoys, these were used to hold the Rigs anchor wire up above assets on the seabed, such as gas or oil pipelines.

20141024-103247

 

 

 

This one is the Loke Viking, my Nephew works on here but wasn’t working on this shift, he was chilling in NZ, lucky sod.

20141024-103453

 

Last but defiantly not least is the Odin Viking, here I have zoomed in on the 40 YEARS OF EXCELLENCE painted on the bulkhead, these guys don’t stay in this business for that amount of time if they are ‘ok’ or ‘mediocre’ they have to be the best, and a couple of days after I took this photo this boat showed us why they are the best.

Lives saved and environmental disaster avoided thanks to the Odin Viking, more in Fridays post.

20141025-103143

 

Morocco from the Air   5 comments

Carrying on with my ‘from the air theme’. This time as the title says its Morocco, for the first 10 minutes over land I didn’t think I would get a single shot with the cloud cover being so thick, but lucky for me as we got closer to town the cloud thinned and then disappeared altogether.

This had been my home for the last 17 days, great crew and a very successful rig move.

20140802-103046

 

 

Making the most out of this harsh dry land. Fancy an apartment by the beach like this?

20140802-110412

 

Of course if you have access to water it makes all the difference.

20140802-111106

 

Even on a small scale.

20140802-105926

 

Being close to a river will always help.

20140802-111000

 

Or just stick to Goats and trees.

20140802-112002

 

 

Posted October 16, 2014 by rigmover in Morocco

Tagged with , , , , ,

Night Flight   10 comments

After joining the rig in Gibraltar we sailed down the coast of Morocco past Casablanca and finally finished up just below Agadir, just east of the Canary Islands where the rest of my family were sunning themselves, so close and yet so far.

Once we were close to our final location our helicopter taxi service started again, guys that you had got to know were leaving and new faces appeared on a daily basis and the rig started to get more busy.

These helicopter pilots are good but sometimes they need to brush up on the odd technique, like landing on the deck at night. Lucky for me I was allowed to take my camera out and watch, now i’m not really that much of a helicopter spotter, although I do think they are a great bit of kit and I’m still surprised they can fly, cool to watch but not that cool to fly in.

As always safety comes first and during the six landing and takeoff all helideck crew were in place and at the ready.

20140731-210720

 

Its a lot closer than it looks, I had to lock my hands around the hand rail and grip my camera while the fire crew pushed me forward to stop me from blowing over with the downdraft.

20140731-211449

Posted September 9, 2014 by rigmover in My Work

Tagged with , , , , , ,

The Rock   5 comments

It’s been a very busy week, I have my Nephew staying with me, and I have been showing him the sites of London one pub at a time, it’s very exhausting work but someone has to do it.

Back to Gibraltar.

After my walk all over and around the ‘Rock’ I hunted down the guys I was travelling with and looking forward to a long cool beverage was glad to find them near a pub, but just as I got there we had the phone call, we were to join the ship tonight and sail to the rig over night, oh well it was fun while it lasted. We left Gibraltar some time in the early hours and sailed back towards Malta meeting the rig on way, once boarding the rig our boat was swapped over with the tow boat and then that one departed for Gibraltar, towing with one boat was very slow going so by the time it was back to join the tow the following day we hadn’t moved very far. It was another couple of days before we went through the Straits of Gibraltar and ended up being very good timing as it was one of the guys 25th birthday and he had purchased 5 very nice cigars, we finished off the day chilling under the helideck smoking fine cigars and watching the sunset over the Rock.

 

20140721-213011

 

Have a great weekend.

Posted August 22, 2014 by rigmover in Gibraltar

Tagged with , , , , , ,

svinisceandmore

Looking at the óther side of Dalmatia

flowerywallpaper

einfach schön - simply beautiful * click in the picture

Mustang Maniac

The home to Classic Mustang Restorations

The Adventures of elATLboy

Out on the Open Road.

The SmugMug Blog

Billions of happy photos. Millions of passionate customers.

Photofocus

Education and inspiration for Visual Storytellers

Life 365 A Photo Project

Going manual, I'm scared!

Capt Jills Journeys

She sails the seven seas in search of FREEDOM

Make New Tracks

Alternative, Independent British Backpacking Blog

One man and his Mustang

A Classic '66 Mustang Coupe 289ci v8 Restoration

John SterVens' Tales

Thee Life, Thee Heart, Thee Tears

Bandwagen

Vintage Volkswagens & Photography

RANDOM IDEAS AND THOUGHTS

The active mind and its take on the goings on of the day.

Atlas' Tracer

Crossroads, exposures, travel's ideas!

BLUE OCEAN MARINER

CLIMBING THE HAWESPIPE ONE HAND AT A TIME!

Jayden Miller Photography

Amazing - Awesome - Unique

badsphotoblog

The blog of Bryan Davis Photography

Atlas' Tracer

Crossroads, exposures, travel's ideas!

London Unveiled

great places to visit off the beaten path.

losflamingos

photography

Our Adventure In Croatia

all the fun of buying and renovating a holiday home abroad....

Simple & Interesting.

amazing places,quotes,music and more.

van plus 4

2 humans. 2 dogs. 1 converted T5.

sharechair

Everyday Technology for Everyday Folks

Photo avant-garde

Photography at a different level

Salvi Kitchen

...because food is heritage on a plate.

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 705 other followers

%d bloggers like this: