Noble Globetrotter II - Stuck in Hurricane Ida

When they’re two separate people the Master is always legally responsible but doesn’t really have much authority most of the time. It sounds like a shitty position to be in for the master.

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I was on a drillship when there was an incident. After all was over the OIM announced that department heads were to meet on the bridge for a review of the incident. The captain arrived just as the OIM was starting the meeting and asked under whose authority was this meeting called? The OIM said , “Mine.” The captain pointed to a sign that said the master is the ultimate authority on the ship. I thought that was pretty ballsy and it was but that captain was gone within a year.

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It doesn’t sound like that captain was very skilled or knowledgeable.

If the OIM is the one actually in charge how is it the captain is unaware of that fact?

Also why would the captain confront another crew member in public like that? Any crew member but especially the OIM. What could possibly be gained?

The captain was doing some final investigation when the OIM called the meeting before the investigation was complete. There had been misunderstandings between the two of them before as the OIM was an old school toolpusher who could not get used to the idea of having the captain be the overall authority. The captain was actually knowledgeable. Though the captain was gone soon thereafter the OIM was shown the door eventually. That companies drillships at the time had a nebulous hierarchy. Things improved eventually so I am told.

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A lot of shitty managers exist, in every industry.

More hot gas for their inflated ego?

The issue with that is he had to say it. There should be no question.

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I quit Noble on 2018 after eight years. On the Drillships? Capt is 100% OIM. Every day, in their lame ass slide presentation (during four safety meetings), the Captain is referred to as “The Ultimate Authority”

Not a lot of ambiguity there…

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Not a lot of ambiguity there…

Well then, the capitan of the Globetrotter will have some 'splaining to do.

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Between Nobel, Shell and the captain who actually makes the go/stay decision?

That is going to be the question attorneys will be asking. IF the captain is the ultimate authority insofar as the safety of the crew is concerned one would think the captain makes the go/no go decision. This will be a very interesting case but I doubt seriously if the general public will ever know the end result and the reasoning behind it.
These companies know they can afford to roll the dice. The Horizon episode is a good example. People died and millions of barrels of oil were put into the sea. Those found guilty paid fines, the bond and stockholders picked up the tab for that. The workers who sued and won are sworn to secrecy so as to not give anyone else any bright ideas. No one went to jail so everything turned out just fine for the decision makers.

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The captain may be able to make the decision but the odds are he will only do it once and probably never be hired again in that industry.

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Likely. So much for the “ultimate authority” BS But everyone know that already the “ultimate authority” is the scape goat. If the captain is smart he saved all communications with Shell, Noble, BSEE etc., and can use that information to defend his actions or lack thereof. BUT likely no one will ever know the whole truth.
Not being hired again in the oil industry is not necessarily a bad thing

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Based on my limited exposure to sailing in the GOM on a Turdwater supply boat as “second captain”, it’s a shit show.

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Based on my experience with drillships it was better. I ran across very few good “captains” but a lot of very good engineers.

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I met a few of the former and a lot of the latter. I’ve been sailing MEBA for quite a while and the engineers on Drillships are overall more capable in my opinion. I don’t know if that’s because of the exposure to a much wider range of equipment, technology or the fact that there is so much shit going on and that more in general is expected of them. It has been my experience that almost without exception, the engineers (and DP guys) are highly qualified and motivated individuals.

Edited… It’s fair to point out that Captains have much different ways in which they are graded than engine guys. For us, our shit works or it doesn’t, our paperwork is correct or it isn’t and we pass our inspections or we don’t. Engine department is a tangible world. The captains have to find a balance with the crew, the oil company, third party providers and shoreside.

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I mentioned this on another thread a while back. This summer I visited Kennedy Space Center & I didn’t see anything there that was more complex than the technology incorporated in modern DP3 oil field related vessels.

Know nothing about drillships, I am sure they are more than complicated. Have a neighbor that is a retired NASA engineer guy that is pretty sharp. Not sure how he would do on a modern drillship.Not sure how a drillship engineer would do at NASA. Apples and oranges. One of few remaining engineers from my sons football team at KP that is still sailing just signed on recently as 2E on a drillship. He is a pretty sharp engineer, and I wish him well. I hope he doesn’t end up with bosses that can’t make reasonable choices ahead of impending bad weather that WILL affect their vessel.

I tried to say that years ago and it came out kinda wrong. Was not intentional to appear one job was not more important than the other. Tangible would have been aptly described as the word I should have used. And yes, wheel and engine are graded differently. You can’t run a vessel if you aren’t on the same page, regardless what department. Loved my morning coffee with the Chief. Some should try that sometime. Worked for me.

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I have probably responded to this some time ago, but I always tried to bring up a cup to the Old Man at “coffee time”. With some it was very productive. Others, not so much.