OSV Work & Contact Home

How often are OSVs, particularly Chouest’s, at the dock or otherwise within cell phone range? Are there other means of communication home provided by the company (like limited use of satellite email)?

I am not with ECO but we get to the dock on average once a week. I have gone 3 weeks without hitting the dock. I kinda liked not having to deal with any of the bull for 3 weeks.


At Chouest, just as it is with most any other OSV, it depends on the paticular vessel. What type of job it performs and where it works. My boat is usually offshore from 24-48 hours, 2-4 times per week on average, sometimes more, sometimes less. Also, some vessels have internet access, paid for by the crew. Some vessel, suchh as “mud” boats are offshore most of the time.

Have to agree with boattrash. It depends who the OSV works for and how they utilize the vessel. You could get some sweet grocery run and only go offshore for a couple of days a week, and be dockside the rest of the time, or have a “warehouse” boat gig where you come in for crew change once every 2 weeks.

I could stay offshore for long periods of time with no problems if I could send/recieve emails and update my online banking to pay bills etc. I heard ECO was hit and miss on which vessels had internet access. But since I don’t work there it could be rumors.

Would seem to be a small overall cost to provide limited access via email and it would go a long way toward crew happiness.

Since when do boat companies care about their employees? Let alone their happiness.

Kenny is so right about that!

This happens a lot! 1 during the interview process, and 2 on the ‘company’ website!

After that… Not so much.

But seriously, some companies do have internet for crew. A while ago someone on here posted a spreadsheet about positions in the oilpatch in rigs. Anyone have a list of companies with benefits, conditions to compare!

I work for Chouest on one of the 280’s. We are often offshore for weeks at a time, crew changing by helo via the drillship. We have a satellite phone for emergencies or crew use ($2/minute) and a VSAT for the regular phones and internet. Crew is officially allowed to use the bridge computer to check their bank accounts and handle airline tickets only. As far as phoning home, use of one of the 3 bridge phones is allowed anytime using a calling card. Reception is decent, usually with an echo and delay. Many of the crew call home every day. Unofficially, people do check their emails occasionally but it’s not guaranteed.

Chouest sells phone cards at the office for use on Vsat phones of the vessels.