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Im Going To Work In The Offshore Sector.........No, Your Not.

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  • Im Going To Work In The Offshore Sector.........No, Your Not.

    I have been listening to many of my classmates (mainly cruiseship types) recently discussing how there is "big money" to be made in the offshore sector once qualified. They are all convinced that they are superior to all the other cadets since they ponse around in white uniforms and (in their minds anyway) the offshore companies are going to want to employ them all. All the people discussing this have simply been trawling around the internet for jobs and think this is the way forward - as you can expect none these people have any offshore experience at all.

    This is mainly written for the aspiring cadets out there who are actually in some sort of position to decide whether they want to work in the offshore sector. Certainly the offshore sector does pay better, however as always, there are some good reasons for this.

    The offshore sector is a completely different ball game to cruise ships:

    - Offshore vessels are far smaller than most cruise ships and work in some of the most hostile conditions imaginable. The vessel will often be completely battered for days on end and you will somehow have to sleep through this and still work a 12 hour shift each day.
    - People don't wear uniforms on offshore vessels as they have far more serious things to do with their time. You will be freezing cold, working at night in a force 8 storm - and if you complain will probably be moved on quite fast.
    - Offshore vessels require ALL the officers to have ship handling skills far beyond what is required on large cruise ships with 20 plus "officers" aboard. You (not the Captain) are often required to maintain control the vessel in very close vicinity to offshore structures.
    - Working on offshore vessels (especially AHTS) is dangerous and bad decisions by the officers will almost certainly in somebody being killed.
    - You need REAL DP (Not phoney Cruise Ship DP) experience to be given a job on almost all offshore vessels. Most companies won't even look at you without this. Cruise ship types simply dont have this.
    - Most companies have 5/5 rotation since even the oil majors accept that working beyong this timeframe is dangerous due to the very heavy work load.


    I hope that all the aspiring cadets take note of this. The offshore sector looks appealing due to the higher rates of pay, but the conditions are a world apart from those on a cruise ship. You have to be of a certain type to work offshore and unfortunately cruise ship types rarely fit the mould. Even in my relatively short time offshore I have seen people bail out because they can't hack it.

    If there are aspiring cadets out there who are attracted to the offshore sector - take a cadetship with a company who have offshore vessel and are willing to send their cadets on them. It is very difficult to move from cruise ships to the offshore sector later on. If you don't like the sound the above don't join an offshore company since you will have to live through 12 months of virtual hell to first obtain your COC after which you can move on.

  • #2
    good to know
    Former TH cadet with experience of cruise ships, buoy tenders, research ships and oil tankers

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    • #3
      Before anyone asks, no this was not written by me!

      However I must admit, I do agree with about 90% of whats here.
      I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

      All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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      • #4
        Do you reckon that working in the offshore sector limits your employability in future years to other types of vessel in the same way?

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        • #5
          My first job after i qualified was on a PSV vessel (my cadetship was on 200m Ro-Ro vessels). I had a months trial, first week was nice calm weather and i loved it. Then the second week was force 9-11 all week and i hated it. I was feeling sick all the time and I had no confidence in myself while turning the ship around while the ship was rolling 30+degrees either side. I guess i 'manned' up and told the captain i wasn't happy and that i wanted to leave the vessel as i felt i made a mistake in snatching at the chance of the job. He was glad i stood up for myself and i was off the vessel two days later.

          Fair to say that i won't be going back to PSV in the North Sea anytime soon.
          my only wish is that i die real.

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          • #6
            It is quite an intense job, and we never hide from the weather...so it can get rather bumpy! I think that offshore experience can only help in terms of employability as it demonstrates that you can REALLY handle a ship and not get panicked easily. As its already been said, turning about in heavy wx can be a little scary and the crew are certainly not backward in coming forward if you disturb their sleep!!

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            • #7
              While we are on the subject, a lot of the comments above seem to be geared toward deck cadets/officers. Are there any offshore engineer officers/cadets that could give a wee indication of what the job is like for them? Obviously the food, weather, hours etc will all be similar or the same but I was wondering more whether there are specific things to engineers. I ask as my company does do offshore but not for everybody and I was considering requesting to try. Having worked crap, cold, long hours in the fishing industry I'd like to give it a go.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by mak View Post
                While we are on the subject, a lot of the comments above seem to be geared toward deck cadets/officers. Are there any offshore engineer officers/cadets that could give a wee indication of what the job is like for them? Obviously the food, weather, hours etc will all be similar or the same but I was wondering more whether there are specific things to engineers. I ask as my company does do offshore but not for everybody and I was considering requesting to try. Having worked crap, cold, long hours in the fishing industry I'd like to give it a go.
                To then go work crap, cold, long hours in the offshore sector? If I'd come from the fishing industry I'd be looking to get on a tramp tanker in the Carribbean/Seychelles/other warm place.
                "Crazy like wild wolves threatened by fire, send them all to the bottom of the sea."

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Ducki52 View Post
                  To then go work crap, cold, long hours in the offshore sector? If I'd come from the fishing industry I'd be looking to get on a tramp tanker in the Carribbean/Seychelles/other warm place.
                  yeah but I enjoyed it! Not a fan of the heat I'm afraid, which should make the next 4 months in the Indian Ocean fun...

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by mak View Post
                    yeah but I enjoyed it! Not a fan of the heat I'm afraid, which should make the next 4 months in the Indian Ocean fun...
                    Yeah, fair one, I imagine all these exotic far flung places you get to visit all kinda look the same really; Like the inside of your engine room.
                    "Crazy like wild wolves threatened by fire, send them all to the bottom of the sea."

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                    • #11
                      Originally posted by Ducki52 View Post
                      Yeah, fair one, I imagine all these exotic far flung places you get to visit all kinda look the same really; Like the inside of your engine room.
                      Same for deckies to a certain extent you might be outside or looking through the windows, but a container port or an oil terminal all look pretty similar only real difference is that is a bit warmer or colder.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by mak View Post
                        yeah but I enjoyed it! Not a fan of the heat I'm afraid, which should make the next 4 months in the Indian Ocean fun...
                        I'm sure it's great fun being shot at round there....

                        Originally posted by gadget123 View Post
                        Same for deckies to a certain extent you might be outside or looking through the windows, but a container port or an oil terminal all look pretty similar only real difference is that is a bit warmer or colder.
                        The language too....
                        I love deadlines. I like the whooshing sound they make as they fly by.....

                        All posts here represent my own opinion and not that of my employer.

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                        • #13
                          I totally agree with this post . All my cadetship has been offshore , 3 month trip in winter from November - January in the Northern Sector of the North Sea . A good day was a force 8.

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                          • #14
                            North Sea Warrior

                            Amost all the ports that offshore vessels visit are not very nice, i.e: Aberdeen.

                            You also run the risk of being exempted from the Seafarers Earnings Deduction if you spend too much time in the North Sea, so the 'extra pay' may simply end up going to the taxman anyway..........

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                            • #15
                              Being in the North Sea is irrelevant.

                              As long as you have the required amount of days out the country and a foreign port then you can claim tax back.

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