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Desert Safety, ADPC, April 1973

Desert Safety, ADPC, April 1973

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'l'f This small booklet has been prepared primarily for the guidance of all newcomers to Abu Dhabi, who may not be properly aware of the dangers which can be involved in desert travel, whenever the fundamental desert safety rules are not followed.

If your work is such that it will not call for more than the very occasional trip out in to the desert then it should suffice for you just to carefully memorise all the contents of this little book.

Those of you who will be regularly involved in desert travel, however, are strongly recommended to read also the unabridged version of this booklet, entitled Desert Driving, which has been published so as to pass on to you all the 'Know-how' and advice available from our most experienced desert drivers.

Page 1

Introduction

Section I

Section II

Section III

Section IV

Section V

Page 2

CONTENTS

Page No.

The Fundamental Rules of Desert Safety .

3

Check Out Procedure and 'Booking-In' .

5

The Danger involved if you leave your vehicle and

try to walk in the desert , .. ," , ' , .

7

Desert Driving Hints

8

Recommended Kit list for Occasional Desert Travel out to Rigs:, Wellheads etc. . ..... , .....

10

THE FUNDAMENTAL RULES OF DESERT SA.FETY

1. Before starting your journey make sure that your vehicle is in good working order and properly supplied with fuel, oil and water. Also check that your tool box, drinking water supply, desert travel kit (as listed in Section V of this booklet) is complete and the contents of your Desert Safety box (if one is fitted) correspond to the list attached inside the lid.

2. Then follow the check out procedure listed in Section II of this booklet. By this means your destination is advised of your expected time of arrival, and a written record is made of all the iuforrnation required to organise your rescue, should this become necessary.

3. 'Book-in' as soon as you arrive at your destination. (See Section

U).

4. Remember that if you get stuck in soft sand you can often get free after reducing the tyre pressure to 9 psi (Landrover) - so , look after your tyre gauge, it is very valuable to you.

5. Whatever may happen to you during the journey, if you get stuck in the sand, or lost, breakdown or have an accident:-

NEVER LEA V,E YOUR VEHICLE

because=-

(a) it provides you with shade from the direct rays of the sun.

(b) it can be seen so much more easily by searchers than just a lone man in the desert ..

(c) it has lights with which to guide searchers by night.

'Page 3

Page 4

(d) it carries your drinking water supply, a 5 gallon spare jerrican of fresh water and an the kit for your survival.

(e) it has 2% gallons of water in "its radiator which can also be drunk in. an emergency.

Note: Except if the water is green in colour, as this indicates treatment with poisonous dichromate corrosion inhibitor.

(f) it contains two additional means, of signalling to searchers, the driving minor which can be removed and used to 'Flash' reflected sunlight) and the wheels and spare tyre which can be removed, deflated and burnt to provide smoke signals. for attracting attention.

(g) the vehicle has always been recovered,

(h) it may have a Safety Box on the back.

SECTION H

CHECK OUT PROCEDURE AND 'BOOKING-IN"

'.

A., CHECKING OUT

1. TELL THE COM,MUNICATIONS OPERATOR YOURSELF, OR PERSONALLY WRITE IN THE SPECIAL RECORD BOOK PROVIDED~ THE FOLLOWING DETAILS OF YOUR JOURNEY:

(a) Date and time of departure.

(b) Point of departure.

(c) Type and number of vehicle, and its colour if not 'Abu Dhabi blue'.

(d) Your name, and the total number of passengers in your vehicle.

(e) Your destination, and the route you intend to take.

(f) The expected date and time of arrival at your final destination.

OR

(g) (In the event of a round trip to and from, a place where no radio is available). The expected date and time of your return to point of departure.

2. Communications centres for the receipt and transmittal of this information are maintained as follows:

(a) Abu Dhabi Office Radio Room (24 hours watch).

(b) Bu Hasa Office, Asab Office and Jebel Dhanna.

Page 5

(c) The Santa Fe ng and their base camp (Daylight watch only)«

(d) The Sedco and Sea and Land rigs (Daylight watch only).

Radio transmitters and receivers are also available for emergency use at Habshan,

B. BOOKING-IN

1. When you get to your destination (or upon your return to base in the case of a round trip) you MUST check in so that your safe arrival is reported and recorded at your poin t of departure. So on arrival, go to their radio room immediately and ask their operator to report your safe arrival to your base without delay.

C. WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU FAIL TO ARRIVE OR FAIL TO 'BOOK-IN'

Reports of failure to 'book-in' will be made as soon as you are one hour overdue from estimated time of arrival at destination, (or estimated time of return to base in the case of a round trip), and subsequently any necessary search and rescue operations will be promptly organised.

NOTE: IT IS THEREFORE VERY IMPORTANT, to avoid unnecessary worry, trouble and expense, THAT YOU ARE REALISTIC WITH YOUR ESTIMATED TIME OF ARRIVAL AND THAT YOU 'BOOK-IN' IMMEDIATELY UPON ARRIVAL.

Page 6

SECTION III

THE DANGER INVOLVED IF YOU LEAVE YOUR VEHICLE AND TRY TO WALK IN THE DESERT

1. If, for any reason, you leave your vehicle and try to walk in the desert the chances are that you win not succeed, and that you will die, This, unfortunately .. is not an overstatement of the case, as two separate instances of it happening in Abu Dhabi in 1968 tragically demonstrated.

2. The reasons for this extreme danger to survival is that if you walk in the desert you have no shade whatsoever from the power of the sun, and you will probably have little .tf any, water with you. In these circumstances, due to the very high air temperature and the much greater effort involved in walking on sand, you would almost certainly soon be brought to collapse, to be followed by heat exhaustion, neat stroke, over exposure to the sun, dehydration and finally - death.

·3. The drill, ther e fore, whe th er you. are firm ly stu ck in the san d, lost, have had an accident or your vehicle has broken down, is to STAY WITH YOUR VEHICLE AND A WAlT RESCUE. This is because your vehicle provides you with shade, water and all the other means of your survival.

4. Do not walk away from YOUlr vehicle even if you can see the rig or other haven. Signal to them with fire j smoke, your mirror- or your lights? - Definitely YES - but leave your vehicle and try to walk? - Definitely NO.

Page 7

SECTION IV

DESERT DRIVINIGHINTS

Regulate your top speed to 70 kph. This is fast enough-for safety and. in the summer fast enough for the vehicle which undergoes extreme temperature and consequent loss of power.

Tyre pressures at Bu Hasa are kept at approximately 20 psi. When leaving the hard track, these should be reduced to 12 psi which will make the difference in being able to negotitate sand in 3rd or 4th gear as opposed to 2nd geaJ .

Look after your tyre gauge, it is valuable to you.

Driving with a following wind win cause your radiator to boil. If this happens, the vehicle should be turned into the wind for 10 minutes every 20 kilometres. This may be inconvenient but may well prevent you from being stranded in the: heat of the day.

If you have to top up your radiator, it is preferable to leave your engine running, to avoid radiator cracking. Be careful how you unscrew the radiator cap as the system will be under pressure.

When travelling in sand and you hit a soft spot that brings the vehicle to a halt, do not try to proceed forward but back off using as little throttle as possible. If you fait at the first attempt, decrease tyre pressure to 9 psi and let the engine idle for 10 minutes before trying again.

If you have let your tyre pressure down to 9 psi don't exceed 50 kph on gravel or sabkha. as yOU! may tear your inner tubes.

Avoid mid-day travel whenever possible in the summer.

Always travel by the recognised routes and, where possible, with, another vehicle,

Page 8

If you are not absolutely certain of the route, take someone with you who is or do not attempt the journey at all.

Unless really imperative, desert travel at night or during dust-storms should be avoided.

You may be lost or unable to proceed or to retrace your tracks due to bad visibility caused by dust-storms etc. III this case stop until visibility subsequently improves. If the tracks become blown out, unless you are absolutely certain of your ability to proceed to your destination or to return to your point of departure, you should still stay where you are until found.

Page 9

RECOMMENDED KIT LIST FOR OOCASIONAL DESERT TRAVEL Q,UT TO R1GS, WELL-HEADS, ETC.

A. ITEMS TO BE [NSf ALLED IN TUE fAR BY rHE DRIVER BEFORE LEA VJN'G

(i.e. a fresh supply of which is required for each journey).

1. Insulated flask or drum of cold fresh drinking water with cup (at

least 2 gallons per person). Il

2. Map or written route instructions (as required).

3. Toilet roll,

4. Some food and, if it is. in winter) some warm clothing.

5, Two boxes of matches.

B. ITEMS 'WHICH CAN U[ PERMANENTLY INSTALLED IN THE CAB BEHIND THE SEATS OR IN THE TOOL BOX LOCKER UNDER THE LEFT HAND SEAT, OR CARRIED AS CONVENIENT

6. A copy of this booklet.

7. A simple first aid kit and first aid manual.

8. Starting handle"

9. Jack (in good, working order - and check that you know how it works yourself) and Jack handle.

10. Wheel brace.

11. Tyre gauge (best carried separately on your person).

Page 10

12. T

... yre pump.

13. An adequate tool kit (to include sparking plug spanner, hammer, adjustable spanner, screwdriver and pliers).

14. 50 salt tablets.

] 5. Pocket knife.

] 6. Cool seats.

17. A pair of work gloves, or a supply of rags.

C. THE FOLLOWING TO BE CARRffiD IN THE BACK OF THE VEHICLE

18.. 3 jerricans f1111 of petrol (Landrover).

19. 1 jerrican full of clean fresh water (Landrover).

20. Shovel.

21 .. Spare tyre.

22.. Block or plank of wood to use as support under jack in sand.

Note: This advice is primarily for the guidance of neWCOIl1.erS to Abu Dhabi and anyone regularly involved. in desert driving should read the booklet entitled Desert Driving.

Page 11

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