Offshore Radio Operator Spotlight

For offshore rigs without a physical connection to the mainland, communication is literally a lifeline. As the professionals in charge of that lifeline, Offshore Radio Operators serve as both the ears and the voice of a working community whose survival depends on keeping the lines of communication open. (And only one of them is the radio.)

What a typical day looks like:

An Offshore Radio Operator spends their day working in a radio room. While the position relied heavily on radio in the past, communications channels now include phone and internet communications as well.

There are two basic types of communication in an Offshore Radio Operator’s job: external and internal. External communications include recording and sending messages to coordinate incoming helicopter flights, as well as coordinating the actions of other nearby vessels. Internal communications involve dispatching personnel and broadcasting weather reports to keep the crew prepared for anything. If someone or something is moving around the rig, it’s likely that the Radio Operator will be part of the process.

Offshore Radio Operators are also record-keepers. Whether they’re updating lists of “persons on board” (POB), updating lifeboat lists as personnel moves on the rig, or maintaining records of cargo and vehicle activities to compile reports, it’s essential that the ears of the rig also acts as its memory.

The kinds of problems Offshore Radio Operators solve at work:

While coordinating the crew’s movements and keeping them apprised of changing weather conditions is one way that operators keep the people and vehicles around them safe, sometimes the worst happens. And if a request for emergency assistance comes in, it’s the Radio Operator who’s responsible for responding.

Skills used most on the job:

Strong communication skills are essential for any Offshore Radio Operator. But they also have to have the mechanical skill necessary to inspect, maintain and repair radio equipment, associated batteries and antennas. Because even though it’s wireless, a rig can’t afford to have its main connection cut.

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