Offshore Cabin or Prison Cell – Which is Really Better?


You’re trapped. Imprisoned in a tiny room with a bunk for a bed and surrounded be the cold harsh sea. Step outside and be battered by salt laced winds stinging your skin. Stay inside and breathe the stale air of your confines. No, this is not your oil rig digs…this is Alcatraz.

Now I have heard many an oil worker say ‘back to Alcatraz’ when their shift rotation takes them back offshore – myself included – but are we justified? How does the life on an oil rig really compare to that of a life behind bars?

Well sure, there are some obvious similarities: The small cabin rooms, lack of visitors and being cut off from normal day to day life could all be compared. Some rigs still don’t have sky tv in the rooms (horror) and most let’s face it don’t have a pool table let alone an outdoor exercise yard. But it’s not all doom and gloom. Most of us have regular internet access and I’ve yet to be on a rig with group showering arrangements….that are enforced at least.

Then there is the obvious benefit. Whilst you may not be whiling your hours away learning sewing or woodwork, you’re also not earning £9.60 a week for your sins.

So whether you think of your time off as parole or an extended conjugal visit – let’s face it, at least you’re getting home without a tag on your leg.