A typical day onboard:
05:50 The Sick Bay is supposed to open at 6am. I get up at the last minute and walk the 20 meters upstairs from my cabin..
06:00 The daily rush hour in the Sick Bay is 6-8 am: The crew on night shift just got off, and if they have some medical concerns they will see me before they go to bed. The day crew also prefers to visit the Sick Bay early. Furthermore all the managers both off and onshore start working (and sending emails) between 6-7 am and issues may come up at the morning meeting that require my input: Questions about the status of medicical supplies, maintenance of medical equipment, advice on certain haphazard chemicals etc.
06:30 Daily water test: I test a sample of tap water in the Sick Bay. The water onboard is produced by a fresh-water generator.
06:45 Two crew members present with what looks like a common cold, both Angolans. I test both for malaria and both test negative.
07:00 I walk the 50 meter down the corridor to the galley, where I have breakfast. Bacon and eggs. Breakfast is served between 5 and 7 am, and includes pasta dishes and french fries as this meal serves as “dinner” for the crew working 12 pm-12 am.
09:00 Time for coffee break in the galley with the Camp Boss and the Chief Cook. No issue is to small to be discussed here.
10:00 I go through the medical inventory. This may takes several hours, and I perform one inventory count per month. The autoclave failed the test and it has been decided to replace it. I briefly go down to check some ordering issues with the MatMan.
11:00 Several crew members pass by and ask for seasickness medicine. It is crew change day for many of the Angolan employees who crew change by boat. They transfer from the rig via a basket to the boat, which then takes them onshore. Unfortunately I have never tried this basket transfer myself as I always transfer by helicopter.
12:00 Lunch is served in the galley from 11-13. There is a choice of healthy food, vegetables and salad next to the deep-fried foods. I make myself a sandwich.
13:00 The bimonthly Safety Meeting is held in the TV room. The Safety Officer presents the safety data and one topic is singled out for discussion. Today it was about wearing the correct PPE. A monthly safety award is presented to a crew member who has made a significant contribution toward safety.
15:00 Time for the daily afternoon coffee again with the Camp Boss and Chief Cook. The TV screen on the wall displays some of the key safety performance indicators such as days since last LTI (Lost Time Incident).
15:30-18:00 Time for the weekly safety inspection, which takes me all around the rig checking the various first aid equipment.
15:30 I am called on the PA system. It turns out one of the crew members has a headache.
18:00 I go down to the gym and run 8 km on the treadmill.
19:00 Dinner. Lasagna, my favorite dish. I asked the cook if he could make it.
21:00 Time for the weekly safety drill. This week the scenario was fire on the main deck. The four crew members acting as stretcher team and medical assistants are called to the site to transport and move a dummy. After the drill, the team leaders meet for a debriefing on the bridge.
22:00 I take a walk on the helideck. Everyone around the deck is busy assisting the drilling operations and the PA system goes off every 20 minutes. The rig is active 24/7 with no difference between night and day.
General information: Some basic things to know about the job as an offshore medic.
Photogallery of my time as an offshore rig medic on the Maersk Deliverer on flickr.