Our fast crew boat kept on moving forward, slicing through the vigorous morning sea without any sign of turning back to shore. The waves were as high as 12 feet but the boat kept on going. My stomach felt tight and I puked a few times, nothing came out. At that moment, I started to question my existent. Why am I here?
Hi, I’m Joe. I am a welding inspector and this is my story when I first work offshore.
Among my colleagues, I was the first selected to work on the Offshore Installation. We were a group of new inspectors just completed our BOSIET training. We have been on a crew change waiting list for a few weeks, that was until my name finally came out.
The platform was located at an oilfield somewhere in the South China Sea near Borneo which took almost 8 hours to reach by fast-crew boat from the nearest Jetty. The sea was rough that day, nevertheless, I made it to the oilfield where I spent 3 weeks working.
I did not actually stay at the platform but rather on an anchored work-boat that was interconnected to the platform via a gangway. My prison-like home for that next 3 weeks was without mobile phone coverage and internet connection. That almost made me cry.
The contractors were actually doing maintenance works such as pipe and structure repairs. Most of the work was done on the work-boat and later the completed structures or pipe spools were transferred to the platform via crane for assembly. I represent the Client to ensure the quality of their welding works. Therefore as a welding inspector, my duty was not that hard to perform. However, I end up doing more than welding inspection due to limited workforce there.
Getting used to the harsh environment was the hard part but along the way, I made some new friends (and not to mention new enemies), all which eventually became my teacher on the sea survival life.
At the end of the day, the best part of working offshore is when your works are completed and you are on your way home ready to step on the soil again.