Billy Pugh

Sometime at our equipment has to be mobilised on the AHV at sea, so some poor sod has to go down to the vessel and do this, that would be me then. This is how we do it.

We use a Billy Pugh (named after its inventor) it consists of a small ring attached to a larger ring by rope netting, as seen in the photo below.

This is attached to a crane and is ready for personal transfer as demonstrated by me below.

As the Billy Pugh is lower to the vessel and received by the waiting deck crew I walk down the deck in a fetching all in one blue number, topped with a white hard hat and life vest accessory, trying to look calm and relaxed as I approach.

Once on deck you place any equipment inside the Billy Pugh and then you stand on the outside, i’ll repeat that, you stand on the outside, holding on for your life.

The crane driver lifts and swings you away from the vessel as soon as possible so if you do slip and fall you will land in the water, which is slightly softer than the deck of a ship, just watch out for sharks.

As the billy Pugh touches down on deck the idea is to jump off, otherwise it collapses on itself and you fall into the middle looking like a complete donut. Once on deck its straight to your cabin to change your pants.

The vessel then sails away into the sunset. (sorry didn’t have a sunset shot but it sounded better than beam of light through the clouds)

Billy Pugh became internationally known when his personal transfer net was used by NASA to pluck Apollo 11, 15 and 17 astronauts out of the water on their return to Earth. It is still one of the safest way for personal transfers at sea and is still used, although the design has been updated a bit.

18 comments on “Billy Pugh

  1. All I can say is WOW. I would not want to be the one standing on the side of that basket.




  3. That is very cool. A little scary but cool.


  4. Graham Harper

    I reckon you need a lot of spare pants in your job!


  5. Wow, that’s a cool yet scary job. Hope you are paid well ;-o


  6. I almost couldn’t look. Yikes. Virginia


  7. I would be absolutely terrified of doing that, but proud of myself afterwards. Excellent photos and a bit of a nerve-wracking post!


  8. Your brave! Sharks! Yikes! Great shots!


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