The major cheap means of transportation for those working in offshore and communities linked with water channels is water transportation, besides that one would consider air transportation such as using a helicopter. The transportation for those living in such environment had been a critical issue considering the fact that water transportation is more costly than road transportation, another fact is that the surviving ratio for water transport accidents are very low when compare to road transport accidents, not only that, water transportations have had several records of accidents when compared to road transportation and the transportation in that medium is always time consuming.
A lot of communities in oil producing areas are surrounded by water such that the only affordable means for them to visit neighboring communities is through water transportation which is usually done with the small wooden boat made locally and popularly referred to as canoe, this boat had served various communities in terms of water transportation because of its cheap availability and affordability. While the elites in those communities would prefer to travel on a speed boat which its availability is rare and it costs much for a particular distance when compared to the same distance a car would cover. Because of these reasons, the movement of those living in these communities is limited to few places that are not far from them. While the oil and gas industries in these communities do use speed boats with the shelter to transport their workers from the site to their places of accommodation.
The use of speed boats for the offshore industries have become a cheaper means of transporting workers when compared to the use of helicopter which may cost more. The companies use the speed boats also as an alternative means of transport in a situation where the helicopter is not available, besides that some offshore workers who are afraid of air transportation do prefer to travel with the speed boats.
Though the speed boats serve as an alternative to the air transportation, the time they usually take to reach a particular destination is usually long and may still need road transportation to reach a public place where the final individual movement of the workers can take place, such as public motor packs. While the helicopter makes it easy for the workers to easily be transported to a place where their private cars were packed such as the company’s headquarter in an onshore location where workers do pack their cars before entering into a helicopter that transports them to the offshore site.
The need to inform individuals who may need to board these types of speed boats usually used in the offshore industries has become necessary since many of these boats have now become major commercial speed boats use by those living in riverine areas for carrying of goods and passengers from one community to another, as a result of this many passengers who had no knowledge of the rules that are meant to follow when boarding such boat use to put their life at risk by the wrong application of the PPE devices in the boat.
After thorough research and discoveries I decided to put it on writing on the things that must be considered and acted upon when boarding such boat, and below are close look on some of them;
DO NOT HOOK UP YOUR FLOATING DEVICE
The speed boat is built with the shelter to prevent water and sunlight from reaching the passengers during rainfall and sunny hours respectively. For this reason, the boat’s shelter is always attached to the main speed boat in such a permanent way that it cannot easily be removed.
Inside the boat’s boot there are lots of floating devices which are meant for the passengers in the boat, but these devices were not meant to be worn completely while inside the boat rather they serve as means of help to assist the passengers in floating in the event of the boat capsizing into the water, therefore the life vest in the boat can be hanged on but buckling it to the body may pose danger in the situation of emergency. According to a HSE official in one of the offshore industries, he said that if the floating life vest were to be completely worn while inside the speed boat with shelter and the boats accidentally capsized such that the shelter of the boat now faces the water while the bottom of the boat faces upward toward the air, the passengers in such boat would find it difficult to swim out of the boat because the floating device they are wearing will tend to bring them up to the surface of the water but do to the fact that they buckled on the body, the device will push the passengers on the cliff of the boat shelter and making it impossible for them to swim out because of its floating strength which will tend to keep the user at the top of the boat shelter, a region that would be probably filled with water.
Therefore, the keyword is that you should not wear the floating device completely, wear it in such a way that you can easily pull it off your body in any emergency situation or you can simply hold it in your hands while inside the boat such that at any emergency you could jump out of the boat with it, so that it could help in keeping your body afloat.
ALLOW THE ENTRANCES TO BE OPEN
While boarding such boat there is need to allow the entrances created by the manufacturers open such that at any emergency situation one can easily jump out of the boat through those entrances. This is the method that many people who survived boat capsizing accidents used. Being alert and finding a way out of the boat with your floating device is the best means of surviving in the case of an accident in such boat.
KEEP A GOOD DISTANCE FROM THE ENGINE AREA
Another safety precaution is to keep a good distance from the engine area because of any unforeseen accident that may occur within that area example is the jamming of a root of static tree that has fallen into the water, the root which may be seen as rope can fly out of the water to hit any passenger staying close to the engine that jammed it.
HAVE A GOOD SEATING POSTURE
Due to the bending and curving of the boat during turning, the passengers will be required to seat properly such that such turning would not take them off their seat thereby causing them to fall either inside the boat or inside water for those seating at the entrance areas.
Another caution is to avoid sleeping while traveling on any speed boat, so that one would be aware of any irregularity and know the side boat is sinking from in the event of an accident such that the individual easily jumps out to the safer direction with a floating device.