RMAQ member Nigel Osborn
Rescues Oil Platform workers off Perth 2nd September 1983.
Click on Photo to enlarge repeat to shrink
Nigel had never seen this newspaper article and pointed out the following mistakes
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's photo of the Oil Rig