After finishing off week five with some travel learnings and a recap of the course so far, we were onto week six; Offshore.
Week six was a welcome change of scenery, allowing us to set sail on the beautiful Southampton water. We were also pleased to welcome offliners from Fort Lauderdale (Max and Dan) and Singapore (Clement) bases increasing the numbers from six to nine.
Special thanks to Leroy Vollenhoven and Mbami Manzo for running a fantastic first offshore experience and passing their Offshore Petroleum Industry Training Organisation (OPTIO) inspection with flying colours.
Monday saw us inspecting and ensuring safety checks were carried out on the various offshore equipment. We would find ourselves deploying this equipment later this week on the water.
With double and triple checks implemented, and spare parts and contingencies in place, there was little doubt that we were fully prepared for anything the estuary had to throw at us.
On Tuesday, an early start was no trouble, and we quickly became acquainted with the Ro-Boom and its various pros and cons, learning how to deploy the boom from a vessel in both a straight lay and loop lay.
We immediately found a strong team cohesion and worked diligently together.
We were becoming quite adept at boom deployment by Wednesday and deployed the Ro-Boom, using a secondary vessel, in both a U and J formation. Furthermore, we were able to use the Termite skimmer to simulate oil recovery during each formation.
Thursday saw no decline in our ability to work as an eager and productive team, and, despite some fatigue, team morale shone brightly. The Ro-Boom was packed away and replaced with the Hi-Sprint, while the Kamara Star skimmer replaced the Termite, with each being deployed and retrieved with excellent efficiency.
On Friday, with the week completed and all equipment back at the Southampton base, we could finish off our offshore experience with a thorough examination and rehabilitation of everything used. Where necessary, we noted any issues identified and made sure to tidy each piece of equipment away safely and securely.
Our first offshore week was a resounding success, and despite the hard work, we all look forward to continued varied and practical experience in the coming weeks.