Within my first month of my placement I was being dunked in a helicopter shell, on the way to the completion of BOSIET training, which is a must have to get offshore. The training provided was excellent and a great opportunity to meet all sorts of people from the offshore industry! The training is far more than just helicopter escape training though.
The first day was mainly classroom based with a series of lectures on the first aid, CPR, general safety and included a series of multiple choice tests you had to pass. You start to begin to wonder where all the action this course promised is and boy did it come!
In the afternoon of day 1 we had to practice emergency escape from a mock offshore platform in the form of lifeboat. This included mustering as a team, waiting for the evacuation siren, entering through a manhole sized door and before deploying the lifeboat. Believe me these bright orange boats are not comfortable to be in.
On day 2 we got to tackle some fires, with this day being split 50/50 between theoretical and practical work. In the first session you are taught about how to respond to fire and when to use different types of fire extinguishers. Ever wondered what they are all for? Once you had developed your basic knowledge it was time to go to the yard. At this point everyone got the opportunity to tackle some fires with varying levels of success; I used CO2and foam extinguishers with great success I must add.
The next session was the smoke room. In this part of the training you had to successful escape a dark smoke filled room. You have to do a number of scenarios and different routes; the first is simply going through the room with lights on to familiarize yourself, although breathing in a smoke hood isn’t so nice. The next time the room is dark and full of smoke, you have to find your way by feeling around with your hand by following the wall line. Sounds simple right but many people came out the same door they entered, some more than once. This was followed by group escape through an unfamiliar route.
Finally we had reached the last day which was mainly based in the pool. We had an hour or so in the classroom being taught how to put on this bright yellow survival suit and how to use re-breather apparatus. In the next session we were in the pool practicing forming chains and boarding an inflatable life raft and the procedures to follow when you have finally managed to pull yourself in. Then the final part was practicing how to use the re-breather apparatus underwater.
The final session was donning the yellow survival suit and so the dunking began. I went in the first group and was excited for some reason, maybe nerves. Before I knew it I had survived the first submersion and escaped from the “helicopter”. There were 6 dunks completed with a combination of straight down, flipping over, popping windows, holding your breath and using the re-breather. By the end of it, it almost felt natural; perhaps weirdly it was a very enjoyable experience.
Want to find out more try this short video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yok245cnS1w
My current role is as a graduate production engineer within the Reservoir Performance Team at Centrica Storage Limited. I have a number of projects around the optimisation of the asset on the go. I also have a number of daily duties to enable the team to provide the current capability of asset to the commercial team and support daily operations