Day in the Life

Day in the life of Hannah Finch-Saunders - MMO

Miss Hannah Finch-Saunders, one of our experienced MMOs, gives us a glimpse into daily life on board;


"On the bridge for 4.45am in time for sunrise and ready to undertake my role as a Marine Mammal Observer, implementing the JNCC mitigation guidelines on a 3D Seismic Acquisition survey in the North Sea.


I remain on the bridge conducting a casual watch and completing the JNCC effort form at relevant intervals. With an hour remaining before soft start I make my way up to the heli-deck kitted out with my equipment and continue the casual watch until 30 minutes prior to soft start of the airgun array. At this point I begin my dedicated pre-shooting search with conditions of sea state 4; no precipitation but a cool bite in the wind.


I maintain communication with the seismic observer and I, together with the PAM Operator, achieve no detections during this period enabling the soft start to begin and air gun operation to continue until the end of line. The PAM Operator and I ensure that the soft start is of a duration to allow marine mammals enough time to leave the area, but not significantly longer than 20 minutes as this would be considered excessive in accordance with JNCC rules.


During the final hour of my shift, I have a sighting! Six white-beaked dolphins which travel parallel to the direction of the vessel off to starboard, and remain at a distance of 700+ meters. With two individuals lunging and tale-slapping like teenagers showing off, the other individuals proceeded in a more sedate, adult-like manner.


I leave my shift, having briefed my replacement MMO, for some breakfast and to continue working through the end of project report."


Hannah Finch-Saunders - MMO