A photo reportage: Jesse Don

To the park and back

What’s it like to have the North Sea as your work site? We asked safety & operations engineer Jesse Don, who works for Gemini both onshore and offshore. Because the project is ongoing but already operational, no week is the same for him. ‘It’s really all-round work. That’s what makes it so interesting.’

Jesse Don closely monitors the safety of employees at the Gemini Windpark. He is also responsible for supervision and planning, as well monitoring. ‘It’s very diverse and that’s what I love about it. You’re at sea with a small group of people, so you’ve got to make it work.’ At Gemini, Jesse shuttles between five locations: Amsterdam, Eemshaven, Emden and Oldenburg onshore and obviously the wind park – 85 km from the coast. ‘We get there on a shuttle boat which sails at 30 knots (55 km/hour, ed.) in calm water. When we’re on site, we stay on one of the accommodation ships, which are like floating hotels. We wear a survival suit when we go to the transition pieces, which we can keep on for an hour.’

Not everyone is allowed to go on board, Jesse explains. ‘You need to be specially trained. Before we start work, a permit to work procedure is performed, whereby everyone signs on and off for each activity. This means we have a constant overview of who is doing what. Risk analyses are also regularly carried out. You mustn’t forget that the North Sea is one of the most dangerous seas in the world, where the weather can quickly change. In principle, it’s a pretty hostile working environment. This is one of the reasons why safety is our number one priority. That’s why we have various communication systems to ensure that we’re always in contact with each other. Safety first!’


Pictures made by Jesse Don while offshore