Recommendation 4.13: Realistic simulators should be used to expose key operators to conditions of stress that are expected in major conflagrations, including heat and loss of visibility (see Chapter 5).

Recommendation 4.14: Realistic major drill scenarios with independent oversight should be part of the normal routine at sea.

Recommendation 4.15: Regulators should require that all permanent crew on a rig achieve a basic level of qualification in damage control and escape systems to ensure that all hands are able to contribute to resolving a major casualty.

Recommendation 4.16: Regulators should increase the qualification requirements of the OIM to reflect a level of experience commensurate with the consequences of potential failure in his or her decision making.

A comparison of the current minimum qualification requirements of an OIM with those of a rig master shows that the OIM requirements are much less rigorous today than is indicated by the OIM’s significant responsibilities for well control (46 CFR 11.404 and 46 CFR 11.470). For example, a typical master of unrestricted tonnage has a 4-year degree in a recognized maritime academy deck officer curriculum or more than 3 years of relevant rating sea time, plus additional years of sea experience in successive promotion roles from third mate through second mate and chief mate. In contrast, one may be licensed as an OIM with as little as 4 years (or 2 years plus an engineering technology degree) of experience aboard MODUs in roles as assistant driller, assistant tool pusher, electrician, or crane operator; 14 days of experience as a supervisor of those ratings; and a 5-day course in stability for OIMs.

Definition of Command at Sea

Recommendation 4.17: Definition of command at sea should be absolutely unambiguous and should not change during emergencies.

Recommendation 4.18: Regulators should establish the unity of command and clearly articulate the hierarchy of roles and responsibilities of company man, master, and OIM.

Appointment of Certification Authority

Recommendation 4.19: Operating companies and drilling contractors should institute a certification authority, accountable to the head of

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