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THE E-Z TREE
THE E-Z TREE
I worked offshore for five years on oil rigs in the North Sea (that’s between Scotland and Norway). I worked for a service company that ran specialized tools down hole. Things like pressure gauges, temperature gauges, sample catchers, valves.
There was eight of us in this crew. We were on a Norwegian rig, running a tool called an “E-Z Tree” (I know it’s a funny name), a two ton hydraulically operated safety valve which sits on the sea bed. In the event of a blowout or some other emergency, you hit a switch and automatically a valve in the E-Z Tree closes and it separates in two, allowing the rig to quickly move to safety.
As usual the crew was divided into two; four day shift and four night. I was on nights.
We were getting ready to run the E-Z Tree. At this point most of our work was over, it was now up to the drilling crew to use cranes and hoists to lift the huge valve, attach it to the drill string an set it down on the sea bed.
My partner John says to me, “Mike, it’s twelve o’clock (at night that is), time for lunch, who’s going first. Normally one would go first and then when he came back the other would go.
This normally started a polite little argument, and that night was no exception. “It’s OK, you can go first.” “Na man, I’m cool, you can go first.” “I’m not so hungry right now (a lie), better you go.” And so it would go on until somebody eventually gave in.
I lost that night (or so I thought), and at last I said, “OK, I’ll go first.”
I washed and changed and was sitting in the mess room eating my lunch when all of a sudden I heard a set of screaming and shouting over the intercom. No big thing really, I mean some kind of shit was always happening, and it was quit normal to hear people shouting, quarreling and even cursing over the intercom. “But strange”, I thought, “the way they’re getting on, this seems like something serious.” And what made matters worse was that everything was in Norwegian, so I couldn’t understand a word.
I finished my grub fast and went to investigate.
On my way to the drill floor I passed one of the drill crew running down the stairs in a panic. I grabbed him by the shoulder. “What’s going on ?”
When he recognized me he looked scared and guilty. “It’s your friend John” he said, “he’s dead.”
“WHAT ?” I flew up to the drill floor. John was lying on the floor, covered with a tarpaulin with just his legs sticking out.
I was told later that I was lucky that I hadn’t seen him without the tarpaulin. The E-Z Tree had been giving some trouble to raise, so he decided to give the drill crew some assistance in shackling it to the crane.
The crane began raising the E-Z Tree, but then apparently, when it was about twenty feet up in the air the driller pushed by mistake a button which automatically releases the clamping mechanism holding it.
He should have gone first.
9/2/2005 6:40 am
Sounds to me like John was trying to do more than he got paid to do. And whilst that is necessary at times, minimizing those times would minimize one's exposure to unnecessary risk.|
I'm gonna be doing some sample catching for the mud logging unit and hopefully move full time into the mud logging unit as fast as possible. Will do everything that I can to minimize my risks, but knowing fully that it will only take the slip of someone else's finger to crush my only body. Yet, I am not afraid.
Thanks for the story though and have you seen/been around many instances of injury & death on work?
9/10/2005 12:48 pm
One of my co workers, Collin North, smoked weed all the time.|
It didn't bother me, he wasn't in my group.
Then one day somebody had to go up the derick.
A very dangerous operation. A harness went around your waist and a small crane lifted you up and up.
I told the crane operator to start winching.
I was about a hundred feet up when suddenly my foot jammed.
My boot was stuck between two pipes.
Fuck! My leg's goin' to be ripped off!
The crane operator! What the fuck is he doing.? Can't he see?
I looked down. And there was Mr North, with his bloodshot eyes on the controlls of the crane. How the fuck did he get tere?
He had a big grin on his face and was watching all over the place.
I tried to scream but the tension had started to stretch me, squeezing the breath out of me.
I was beeing torn apart. On a rack.
My leg was being torn off.
Then, suddenly...... POP.
My leather boot ripped in half.
I shot ten feet up in the air and grabbed hold of the drill pipe.
I looked down again and there was Collin North with that same stupid grin on his face, oblivious to everything.
9/13/2005 9:00 pm
Weyyyyyy! That is some serious shit. "Your boot ripped in half" - is that what you said? My God, I just spent my 1st 4 nights on a rig (land rig) and whilst I haven't seen any horror stories yet, I can appreciate the fact that lots of shit probably happens cause there's all kinds of activity going on simultaneously. The experience has been a good one thus far, but I guess that's because drilling hasn't started yet.|
The one complaint is that after planning to come home and fuck the life out of my girl, I return home to her sleeping and barely able to mutter "hi honey" to me. A total anti-climax. It's 11:56pm now and I'm actually thinking of driving down to Villa Capri and getting my fix out of anger and disappointment.
Tell me Mike, where can one pay for sexual encounters down Mayaro side? A lot of expats have been asking me and I feel i might need a lil blow job here and there too yes. You in the industry, so tell me the scene down on that side??