I will never forget how the Crane Operator saved the life of a Roustabout.
I was signed on The Dundee Kingsnorth Semi-Sub, we were working in the North Sea for Conoco on the Hutton Template. It was morning coffee break about 09:15 when a PA was made by the Crane Op that there was a Man Overboard, the Port side. We all assumed it was a drill but when we arrived on the Port box girder sure enough there was a man in the water, he seemed to be a mile away and hardly visible in his blue coveralls, the standby boat was on its way but a long way off. There was a force 8 blowing, about 30 knotts and the MOB was moving away fast. An attempt was made to deploy a life ring but it hardly touched the water, we looked on helplessly as Jim Smith (?) the Crane op swung the port Crane boom in the direction of the MOB and lowered his headache ball into the water and carefully manoeuvred the whipline to the MOB who by this time was about done in, he saw his chance and grabbed the whipline, but fell off twice, so it was s**t or bust at the third attempt he made it by sitting on the headache ball. Jim retrieved him to the deck where he was given a fast firemans lift and plunged into hot water in the hospital to stabilise his temperature.
On the enquirey it transpired that the Roustabout had climbed onto the flareboom stowed on the port side under the Crane which was preparing the hose to take bunkers and he should never have climbed onto the flareboom.
The Roustabout was sacked for being "accident prone".