Top tips for your first trip offshore
Updated: Aug 31, 2019
Your check in time at the Heliport is the time you need to arrive at the heliport, so unlike if you are catching a plane you don’t need to be there hours before the time given to you.
Remember to have some money on you in case you get delayed so that you can buy refreshments, juice, chocolate etc. You could be stranded for a few hours once you have checked in your bags, or in Shetland if travelling to the Northern platforms/rigs.
Always keep your passport on you even after checking in as when your bag is taken away you don’t get it back till you arrive at the rig. You will need you passport as proof of identify for the whole journey.
Take old clothes that are on the large side as the washing machines are not kind and everything usually shrinks as it is put on a boil wash. Do not take anything that needs ironing to look presentable.
Don’t be afraid to ask questions, ask as many questions of different people as you can. It’s the best place to get hands on experience and to learn, most people are keen to explain and tell you about their job if they have a keen audience.
Be prepared to muck in and work as a team, you will earn the respect of the rest of the rig that way. Don’t be scared to get your hands dirty when appropriate and in a safe manner.
Make sure to attend TBT for jobs you are involved in so that you are aware of what is expected of you and what everyone else is responsible for.
When you arrive at the heliport and the rig there will be a lot of information given to you in inductions etc make sure to listen and don’t be afraid to ask if you are unsure. The oil industry uses lots of acronyms for things and you can’t and won’t be expected to know them all.
When outside make sure that you always look up to make sure there are no lifts overhead and always obey barriers and tannoy announcements.
Make sure you have some money with you for the bond which sells cans, sweets, crisps and basic toilertries that you might have forgotten to pack. It is usually open by the camp boss twice a day to allow each shift to go.
If you are going offshore for any duration, make sure you bring enough critical items (Clothes, contact lenses, medication, toiletries) to last you for longer in case of weather or fog delays. It has been known for people on one night visits to be stuck for an additional six nights. Also, it is advised not to make any critical appointments or book holidays for the day or day after you are due home.
You don’t need to bring a towel or bed sheets. These are provided by the facility team.
There are often gyms offshore, so it is worth packing exercise gear and an iPod with headphones if you plan on using this facility.
Medication needs to be sealed, and if you are bringing loose pills or vitamins these need to have their packet seal intact. All medication must be declared at the heliport and logged with the medic. The medic is able to prescribe and provide medicine for any illness you may have offshore – from strepsils and lemsip to antibiotics if required so you do not need to pack for every eventuality.
Some rigs have strict rules on mobile phones and e cigarettes so check on the rig policy before you go. Always pack an alarm clock in case you can’t take your mobile phone offshore.