Erwin Goedendorp, Survey Party Chief
“I work with a team of six surveyors on board the fallpipe vessel Rockpiper. We really are part of the team. We provide the ship with information needed for navigation, for instance about the depth of the seabed.

As we often work close to oil and gas platforms it is crucial this information is correct. Still, as I always say: we are only a resource, not the ‘Bible’ of navigation. So stay alert and keep looking outward. On the bridge we do this together, by the way. You can hear us shouting ‘take care’ and ‘watch out’ just as loudly. That’s what teamwork is all about: making use of each other’s strengths. If one person overlooks something, the other one will see it.

I’ll give an example to show the necessity of this. During a preliminary survey of an oilfield, we found that the twelve meter high hatches of a template (a 25 x 25 meter roof protecting the pipes of a pumping station) were open. We almost brushed into them, because of course the hatches were closed in the information we had received from the client. These experiences have taught me never to take an answer passively.

To a certain extent the ship depends on my information. And I depend on the information the customer provides. So I keep asking questions until I am sure the information is 100% correct; I feel that it’s my responsibility towards my colleagues. So next time someone jokingly says ‘waiting on survey’, you all know what we’re working on!”

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