A recent full and frank exchange of views on this site revolved around the requirement to launch lifeboats and manoeuvre them every three months from mobile drilling units.
So, is this a good idea. Apparently no matter where the rig is in the world, and no matter how long it is spending out there, every three months the lifeboats should be launched and driven about. I would be really surprised if any rigs in the North Atlantic or the North Sea EVER launch their boats.
I had for years been a visitor to mobile units and once in the sheltered waters of the Cromarty Firth acted as crew man when a lifeboat was launched, the coxswain being the Barge Engineer, an man with a lot of small boat experience.
Launching the boat was easy, but recovering it took considerable skill on the part of the coxswain and had the man in charge been one of those men whose sole experience has been taking the coxwain’s course we would never have got it back. Imagine that situation in the chilly waters of the far North.
So here is the question. Bearing in mind that formal risk assessments usually determine that oil rigs would be better off without boats at all, is the requirement to launch boats from mobile units every three months safe in itself?