Sometimes, things don't go as planned. Reality. Sometimes, you can't plan for events even if you wanted to. Shipping is dynamic and the variables are countless. Sometimes, you're humbled. Shipping is dangerous and bad days can become relative. I mentioned previously that the vessel was preparing for HPC (High Profile Cargo) and that we were in overdrive. This is still true because, during our heavy lift operation one of the cranes suffered a casualty.
I'm not going to go into details (because I actually love my job) but, what I will say is that it shook me up a bit.
Through the years, I've had friends hurt, I've seen gear fail, and I've seen people have close calls. I've had close calls too. It's humbling.
You are suddenly reminded of how dangerous the industry is (statistically the most dangerous industry with fisherman leading the way). You realize how quickly things can take a turn for the worse.
Having a solid plan drastically reduces an error chain however; on a vessel of this type there are so many moving parts, vectors and unseen points of tension that one must be constantly vigilant.
Strangely enough, heavy lift operations are some of the safest evolutions on these types of vessels. There are many eyes watching, all the safety factors have been taken into account, and most importantly the operation is a slow one.
As I've gained experience I've had to assign my own value system to onboard performance. It's easy to get lost in the minutiae. Sending reports into the office - entering crew hours - signing off on stores received. These things will all get done.
There will always be someone willing and ready to critique your performance.
Did anyone get hurt a d are we continuing to work safely? Is the vessel and cargo in a safe condition? Are we operating as efficiently as possible?
If I can say yes to those three things then I am satisfied we're doing our best.
After being shaken with our casualty I had to stop and reassess the situation.
No one was injured. No damage was done to the cargo or the vessel. All available resources were utilized to get back up and running.
And that is called:
A REALLY GOOD BAD DAY
Editors Note: I received several very concerned emails and thought I'd add a note to clear up any confusion. There were no Human Casualties. I was referring to equipment failure of large magnitude. The crew and personnel associated with the heavy lift are all safe!