With today’s technologies a meteorologist could easily work from an office on the mainland. But for a highly sensitive crane operation at sea, precise forecasts are essential. Many times a meteorologist on-site may see something that a computer model could not detect. Face-to-face reassurance is important to customers, and for this project WWT Meteorologist Darrell Ferguson was there to provide confidence to the crew that weather conditions were safe enough to proceed.
We met with Darrell to discuss his offshore experience in the Bay of Campeche in December 2015. Here are a few highlights from our conversation:
What was your schedule like aboard the crane ship?
Darrell: My work schedule was mainly during the day but I was staying up until midnight to record an observation and would wake up at 4AM to prepare the morning forecast and take another observation at 6AM. I was providing observations to our client every 6 hours at a minimum and some days recorded more based on weather conditions.
What was one memorable highlight from your trip?
Darrell: One noteworthy event occurred while I was onboard. The vessel and project achieved 1 million man-hours without a LTI (loss of time due to injury). That is a pretty significant event in that business with everything they have going on out there. Safety was definitely a focal point everywhere you looked and with everyone you spoke to. You couldn’t walk five feet and not see a poster about Safety on the vessel. Everyone involved with the operation including myself received a nice button-up shirt with embroidery about the LTI.