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A day in the Life: Greig Masson, Mobilisation Co-ordinator, Orca Oceanic Systems

A day in the Life: Greig Masson, Mobilisation Co-ordinator, Orca Oceanic Systems


You could say I’ve had a varied career from my first Saturday job as a junior Hairdresser and Barber, through Goods In at Subsea 7 and iTech, Materials Control at FMC, Logistic Co-ordinator at Technip and then over to commercial and business development roles at Mermaid Subsea and then OOS. The one role I keep getting pulled back towards over the years is logistics co-ordination, in particular mobilisation and demobilisations of subsea construction vessels, DSV’s ROVSV’s, Construction Vessels etc.

So when the call came in that a long-time client had moved up their latest ROV IRM scope for a major North Sea operator which clashed with an existing OOS mobilisation leaving us short of one Logistic Co-ordinator, it was time for me to dust off my boiler suit, hard hat and earn my 'quayside hero' tag again.

In the days building up to mobilisation, there is a lot of prep work to be carried out, mobilisation plans to be generated and then updated continuously. Project containers packed and readied for shipment and mobilisation, welding teams organised, shore-side rigging teams confirmed and company-specific training schemes completed for all third party personnel and finally uploading all the documentation and final deck plan to the OOS Mobilisation Manager®.  

Day of the Mobilisation

With Clipper Quay at Aberdeen Harbour booked and the vessel steaming towards Aberdeen I’m on countdown and after relaying the latest news to the team via Mob Manager, it’s off to bed for a 05:00 start with the vessel due in at the outer breakwater at 06:00.  04:30 alarm and time to get up and down to the harbour to start preparing for her arrival, quick check on OOS Mobilisation Manager® for any updates during the night and marine traffic to confirm the vessel location and predicted arrival in port, it’s still 06:00 everything is on schedule so time to get quayside.  On my way down to the harbour I call the Harbour Board and agent to kick everyone off and on arrival, it’s a quick sweep of the quay to make sure everything has arrived, hire equipment, project equipment etc. A quick update including a weather forecast and it’s time for the vessel to come alongside and we can get started.

06:25 and the vessel has come alongside, is all tied up, gangway deployed and security in place. Time vessel inductions and mobilisation kick-off meeting. At this point it’s time to meet everyone who we will be working with over the next 48 hour period. Vessel crew, Offshore Construction Manager (OCM), Deck Crew, Crane Drivers and Welding Foreman. It’s good to see some of the old faces from my Technip and SS7 days, as well as meeting the rest of the team. We run through the mobilisation plan along with client and operator presentations and it’s off to work.  First port of call is to mark out the back deck with the client Project Engineer. Whilst this is going on the last of the trucks have arrived and have been co-ordinated in the same sequence as they will be offloaded onto the back deck.  

09:00 Time to start with the crane ops

This has always been one of the highlights for me. Some people like cars, trains or trucks, for me it’s always been cranes and the bigger the lift the better. I’ve been lucky to be involved in complex and heavy lifts in my time as a Co-ordinator, utilising some of the largest cranes in the UK and Middle East such as a Demag PC6800 – Lattice Boom Pedestal Crane mobilising 550t reels, mid-water arches and lay systems. Nothing as exciting this time, as all lifts will be carried out by the vessel crane and shoreside forklift. Once our shoreside rigging team get going with the Crane Driver, we quickly start to populate the back deck with the OOS Mobilisation Manager ® being updated quickly as the equipment moves from 'arrived at quayside' to on 'on back deck'. Next step is securing the equipment and containers to the deck and the welding team are cracking on, we are ahead of schedule and its 21 ‘C with clear skies.

12:00 Lunch break

Lunchtime and myself and the rest of the OOS crew have been invited to have lunch onboard. It’s a Norwegian flagged vessel so we know we are in for a good meal and most importantly some good coffee as we are not even halfway yet.  13:00 we’re back at it.  I’ve had to pull forward the arrival of the electrical team as we are making such good progress, commissioning and integration of the ROV spread with their arrival and another major milestone is reached.  


Everything is going well we’ve nearly completed all the major lifts with just some subsea baskets and a reeler left. I’m on the quayside checking the baskets rigging certification and I notice we have a potential trespasser trying to gain access to the vessel without reporting to the security cabin. First time I’ve ever had to act as bouncer for a fox trying to board a vessel!

However, since our unexpected visitor is without ID and appropriate PPE he’s ushered out of harms way and it's back to finalising the last 2 lifts and countdown to shift handover.


My back to back has arrived and I start the handover. I’ve talked a bit about the OOS Mobilisation Manager ® but shift handovers is where it becomes invaluable to a Co-ordinator. All relevant information from the last 12 hours is present along with the mobilisation’s current status, along with all relevant documentation and contacts. We complete our handover and it’s one last sweep of the quayside before I head home. 'Quayside Hero' status intact.


A quick check of the live DPR and my back to back has had an extremely urgent last minute request from our client, 6 toilet brushes need to be bought and taken down to the boat before it sails at 06:00!  20 minutes and 2 phone calls later we’ve sourced and purchased the brushes and my back to back is on his way to pick them up from our supplier. Disaster averted with the boat sailing at 05:30 saving a second shift for myself as well as saving our client 12 hours in port.  Job done and back to the day job.  

Published: 27-08-2019

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