Submerged thoughts part A

Blub..blub..blub..blub

Ok I kid, I kid.

3rd November, I attended a safety course intended to teach those who would be going by helis to oil rigs/platforms what to do if anything out of the normalcy happened. Out of normalcy as in, if the helicopter crashes, or the pilot decides to do an emergency landing on the water because of unrecoverable malfunction(s), the platform about to blow up or anything of the mentioned nature.

9-12 o’clock was the theories and exam session. There were 4 people in my class, 1 was a really old guy, I think he was around 50+. There were 3 of us from the same company. The instructor was a really experienced guy, and really laid back. “Next when we’re about to do the actual training, DO NOT PANIC. If you panicked, you would forget every basic step that you should do to stay alive. If you panicked, you would do the opposite instead, and you would die. Tapi kat sini, kalau ada apa-apa yang tidak kena, our divers are always ready to rescue”.

I couldn’t wait to be involved in the actual training. I saw the big pool, the dummy helicopters, the mock evacuation boat, the really high platform (from which we would have to walk off later on).

1 o’clock, we were gathered with participants from other classes.

“Ok, sebelum kita masuk ke dalam air, mari menari poco-poco dahulu, untuk warm-up” said a guy who looked like younger Sidi Oraza (Malay actor). The part of the pool that was deep was dark blue in colour and when they turned on the wave generator….there were waves! Really high waves! Some of the female participants let out a yelp. “You engineer kan? Be brave. Takda apa ni”, a facilitator comforted them.

In total, there were about 30+ participants. The others were from different programs but we joined group for that day’s session. Later, for the dummy helicopter session, there would be only 4 of us. The others didn’t need it as they would be going via different means i.e. transport boat or ship.

“Ok sekarang pakai life jacket, kita masuk air, bagi basah dulu. Berenang secara backstroke, jangan guna kaki. Learn how to conserve your energy ya.” Easy, there were a few panicked participants but they managed. One was grabbing my life jacket and was slapping the water around her causing it to splash into my eyes. I had to grab her by the arm and pull her to the closest ladder, “Relax cik, you ada life jacket, baring atas dia. Breath, breath.” My vision was blurry because of the amount of water that had entered.

1st session: Evac Boat

The boat looked like a coffin with inflated hard top. It could fit about 15 people at a time. I was given the task to check the boat first for any signs of damage and if everything was good, I would signal the commander to lead the group to enter the boat. Once we were in, the boat driver would yell for everyone to be in ‘brace position’…and the boat was released. It was not a free fall, the tackle from which the boat hung controlled the drop rate. Easy.

2nd: Vessel to vessel transfer

There were 2 floating platforms on the water. Easy exercise. The waves made it difficult but it was basic, you just jump onto the other platform when the wave pushed it upward towards you. Just like Mario brothers game.

3rd: Walk off a platform which was about 3-4 storey building high

This one was quite intimidating. “Ok remember, arms in proper position, look down for any obstacles, then just step off the platform. DON’T LEAP! Legs straigthened down!” the instructor reminded us. Still there were a few of the participants who forgot and fumbled and ended up falling like nangka busuk into the water.  When it was my turn, my God, how scary it was. I didn’t hesitate but as I was falling it felt sooooooooo long. “Weh bila nak sampai air ni???????” that was my actual thought O_O . Until, “BOOOFF!” and the buoyancy of my jacket pushed me back up. “Gotta find where the others are”, I said to myself as I was swimming around looking for them. We were then told to form survival circle as we were taught in class. At this moment, I felt how little I was when compared to the majestic sea and I was glad there were a lot of participants around. We were comforting each other and in actual situation this would be one of the most crucial steps in staying alive, keeping your mind as calm as possible and avoiding any unnecessary movement. I can’t remember how long we were in the water. The instructors would yell for us to form lines, then back to circle, then back to lines, then when we were in a line, he would tell us to swim from point A to point B whilst keeping the human chain intact. The waves made it difficult, the panicked ones made it difficult too. “Pak cik relax pak cik, saya ada kat belakang ni”, I told one old man when he was trashing around in the water looking for a hand to grab hold of. His action caused me to swallow what felt like a gallon of water . Luckily it was not real sea water I’d swallowed.  I was burping! Sambil berenang minum air T_T . On  a serious note, I would have died if it was real sea water.

To be continued… (I’ve typed too much >_<, hence need to do it in 2 parts- I promise, only 2 parts, kalau tak, rumah tak berkemas, baju tak berlipat, lauk tak termasak, and I got a football match this evening)

My mother and I both loved this movie and the songs in it. For me particularly this song, the lyrics are beautiful and the best part of this video is at 2:42 until 3:05       , lirikan mata nya, aduh, ada panah sudah menembusi hatiku. Chewah jiwang!

 

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