Ben Patterson was astonished: he had just rappelled into the splash zone of the offshore platform Claymore, one of the oil and gas company Repsol Sinopec's assets in the North Sea, when all of a sudden a seal popped out of the water and curiously observed the activity.
Patterson, who works as a thermal insulation engineer at Bilfinger UK (former name: Bilfinger Salamis UK) , was about to assist with sandblasting and recoating a 14'' dead weight support clamp when his animal companion joined him. Unfortunately, the seal, who was immediately named Sammy, didn't have a proper personal protective equipment and couldn't stay around for the full job.
Drones at work on the high seas
Falcon 8: that is the name of the drone that has been at work for Bilfinger UK for about a year now. Images taken by the drone make it possible to quickly discover cracks or other corrosion damage to platforms so that they can be promptly repaired by Bilfinger technicians. With the help of thermal images, it is also possible to detect leaks on joints, gas pipes or insulation.