RMAQ member Nigel Osborn

Rescues Oil Platform workers off Perth 2nd September 1983.

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Nigel had never seen this newspaper article and pointed out the following mistakes

Hi Terry
I have never seen that news article before & as you can expect, the writer wasn't’t there & got a lot wrong. Frank & Nic went out first without a winch, which would have been useless anyway, & simply were not prepared to risk a landing. The RAAF had winched up 2 in well over 1 hour, so imagine how long 52 winches would take. When I arrived the RAAF guy told the riggers to jump in the sea because the deck was too mobile & in fact the winch wire had scraped down the side of the deck & was now u/s. I told the riggers not to jump, I’ll land on & pick up 10. The rig suggested that was too dangerous, so I told him not to worry as we had an ex-navy crew on board!
This lull business was rubbish as I had learnt in my early surfing days that every 7th wave is smaller than the other 6. So I hovered off the deck & counted, then after the 6th, I threw the helicopter onto the deck like we did on frigates. The RAAF bloke said that looked easy & tried himself & nearly crashed! I came back 3 more times & the RAAF copied my technique & each Huey landed once. We took a break for lunch with 10 left on board who were trying to save the rig. Later in the afternoon the wind picked up again, so I followed by the 2 Hueys went out & I picked up the last 10. About an hour or so later, the tow rope broke & the rig turned over & sank & is still there as a fish breeding ground! The RAAF boys got the AFC I believe!
The 3 of us ended up with some medals after the RAAF got theirs!
Nigel

Nigel's photo of the Oil Rig