In the old days.......

23rd August 2008, 17:06
The best vid on YouTube I have found showing the 'good' old days of anchor-hanling. Note, no life jackets and none of them hydraulic thingies - just pure, basic seamanship. This is what I went to after the tugs - must have liked it, stayed on them for 12 years.......!

Excuse crap music!


Sister Eleff
23rd August 2008, 22:56
Looks dangerous to me, how many people did they lose in this type of manouvre?

24th August 2008, 00:58
On the ships I was on, none. A young mate who was decapitated on another ancjor cranker when we were lifting the anchors off the 'Sedco 701'. She was a Norskie, I think it was the 'Gorm Viking' but I could be wrong.

As for those type of conditions, as many who were out there in the 70's and '80's will tell you, it was 'all in a day's work'.

I loved it - but then I was young and roaring in my way, and fleet of foot and sound of limb.........


ian d.cameron
24th August 2008, 04:29
As Jonty says, it was all in a days work. Thanks for a good memory blast Jonty.

24th August 2008, 11:27
No problems Ian - a pity it passed many by. It's a part of seafaring that deserves more exposure and was real 'roughie toughie' stuff but I enjoyed it.


25th August 2008, 04:56
I can still remember retrieving 300 yards of 1 1/2 cranebond cable on a TID tug with no windlas or capstan. can still feel the pain in my back and hands today. As Jonty says..."all in a days work" in those days

25th August 2008, 05:10
I remember a Geordie kid on the tug "Norman" BP Forties 1974, a hook skeeted right along the top of his head.
No hard hats, if the hook had been the other way round would have killed him.
It happened so fast he said, he did'nt have time to take it in what happened, but the guys around him did.

all the best

25th August 2008, 12:00
Yes, there were lots of accidents. A Mate I was with on the 'OIL Hustler' was in the winch room when we were heaving rig anchor chain. For some reason he was looking at the gypsy to see why it was stuck - the chain bounced and flipped him up to the deck head. He broke his jaw and had concussion injuries so it was a helivac job.

Another mate on the 'Sealion Columbia' got his hand trapped trying to remove a wooden wedge out from a pipe stack - the ship was doing her usual rock and rolling. Crush injury - basket transfer and heli-vac.

And I got washed up the after end on the 'OIL Hustler' when she was carrying a mud making plant. Didn't see the greenie coming in over the stern and was bounced around the equipment until a section of flexible pipe washed over me and pinned me face down to the deck. Fortunately, the Leading Hand - a giant of a man - pulled me free. Cuppa tea and a fag and I was good to go. Happened so quickly though.........

In the old days we used to tie up to the rig too - that was always a comination of hand ball and capstan with huge polyprop multiplait as thick as your thigh. Seen those part now and again. No warning....fortunately never seen anyone hurt by it.


Don Matheson
26th August 2008, 12:33
I think it was the best part of my time at sea. Something different every day, some easy, some very dangerous. Yes it could be a dangerous job and in my time with AHTS and supply boats we lost two men from the boats I was on. One during anchor handling the other at a platform. Both very good men and a great loss.
Also had a man go in the sea while backing up to lasso an anchor buoy. He slipped on the roller while holding the lasso, went overboard under the stern, other seaman threw the lasso to him, skipper went ahead away from him and I pulled him out with the small winch. Norwegian seaman, he walked up the deck had a beer then shower then came back out on deck. I found that the Norwegians were very good to have on the ship.

26th August 2008, 15:04

They were great crews apart from the odd one or two - but you get them in all walks of life!

I found the Scots amongst the best I sailed with in all my time at sea. In OIL, they were always 98% Scottish crews out of Aberdeen, Dundee, Leith, The Shetlands and so on. Later on they started to get mixed with Geordies and Hull men - but still the same mix of humour, great seamanship and that irrepressable UK Merchant Seaman attitude that was always on top.

Worst experience was working out of Southampton with the 'OIL Hustler' and 'OIL Harrier' to the 'Sedco 701'. The Southampton Pool insisted we took a pool man on - the ships were federated then - and so we did. The laziest, bone idle moaner I ever come across. Said the job was 'too dangerous' and that 'no man should work inconditions like that'. He was sacked - eventually - and we returned to finding our own men off the Scottish pools.

You either liked it or you didn't; no half way measures.

Don Matheson
26th August 2008, 15:47

The first crews I worked with were mostly English working out of Gt. Yarmouth, super guys. Later went to Norway and we had local crews, found them to be very good seamen but a nightmare with a drink in them. Had some time with Singapore Chinese and Indonesian crews. Not as good but they never had the weather to test them really.
One Indonesian got hit by a pallet from a backload. Collapsed onto the deck and the others ran past him and came back out with helmets on then picked him up. He was ok after a few days in hospital in Ballikpapan and back to work.
Serious but funny watching the crew run past to get helmets.
Millions of funny stories out there from supply boat hands, would be good to hear some of them.

26th August 2008, 23:15

WE started a tugman's tales thread a good while back and that brought some crackers in with it. Maybe we should start a 'northsea Tiger' thread? The rig boys always thought they were the tigers but nah, they were just the lap cats!

You start one in the Mess deck and I;m certain we'll have a massive thread going in no time!


27th August 2008, 10:13
Hi Jonty
I have been offline for a few weeks due to reasons beyond my control and only logged in yesterday. I am trying to catch up on all what has been going on. A 'North Sea Tigers' thread sounds a great idea. Not just the North Sea I hasten to add, I like yourself and many others on this site have some pretty hair raising experiences world wide in the offshore business.
Take care

27th August 2008, 11:23
I l;ook forward to reading the Tiger thread with great relish lads. Get it going

28th August 2008, 19:20
Any idea where we would put it?

That is threads!


29th August 2008, 00:10
why not put it on mess deck and call it "Tuggies Tales"

29th August 2008, 00:41
Did we do that one? Or is it a new one? It's the memory.....oh the mem....what is it again?