owl driller stena carron

Who, Who… Who’s There? Drillship Crew Rescues Lost Owl

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July 13, 2012

Robert Leslie, Image courtesy Stena Drilling, click for larger

While operating north of the Shetland Islands, the crew of the Stena Carron drillship crew rescues an unexpected stowaway…

With the Stena Carron less than a month away from successfully completing 1 year without an MTO (medical treatment only case), all personnel were extra vigilant. The 5 soft barriers were in full swing during every operation.  On the Stena Carron however, it’s not just the staff we were looking out for…

One dark winter’s night, Robert Leslie, a roustabout on-board the Carron, was making his way forward to the bosons store when he heard strange noises.  He stopped, looked around, and to his surprise, found an owl sitting on the steel deck.

The owl was assumed to have found it’s way on-board during a recent transit through sheltered waters. By the time Bob found it, it had run out of food, energy, and the will to live.  Little did this little owl know, today was was his lucky day.

Bob is a keen bird spotter and lover of wildlife in general, ever vigilant for the breaching of the porpoise or whale and calling it in. Quickly identifying that ‘Olly’ (as he named his charge) was a little worse for wear, Bob sprang to action with the dynamics of a full sprint gazelle.  He gently picked up and caressed the Owl and called for immediate back up via a Stena Carron APB (All Points Bulletin) announcement.


stena carron drillship helipad rig
Image courtesy Stena Drilling, click for larger

Support quickly came from a number of directions – the owl now had a chance.

Olly was placed in a top-of-the-line cardboard box– the plushest onboard at the time which had been used to package and ship watermelons. Not only demonstrating a love of earthly creatures, but enforcing the law, the owl being a protected bird, the Marine crew skillfully modified the box to include ventilation and viewing ports.  An owl bed was made from some of the most luxurious rags onboard before the catering dept were persuaded to provide the finest of dining and refreshments.

8 hours later, Olly had priority boarding on the helicopter and was flown back to Shetland where Shetlands RSPCA was waiting.

Subsequently, several more owls have been found on board and safely sent back to shore.

Happy Ending for some lost owls!

A special mention to Stevie Duncan for enquiring with logistics as to the cost of the chopper seat for Olly which he was willing to pay for himself. ‘Caring for Each Other’ a boundary extended to embrace all creatures Great & Small. Well done lads.

Republished with permission via Stena Drilling‘s Flowline Magazine

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