Christmas meals for a hungry drill crew, North Sea style

FOR most people, Christmas Day consists of opening presents and enjoying a turkey dinner.

But for Mike Seed, of Cove, and hundreds of others in the catering industry, it is just another day at work.

While many chefs and waiting staff serve up Christmas dinners in hotels and restaurants throughout the country, Mr Seed will ensure workers on the Stena Spey drilling rig, 180 miles off the Buchan coast, enjoy a festive feast.

The 49-year-old chef manager, with the help of another chef and a galley steward, will serve a variety of dishes throughout the day for the 100 staff on the installation.

He said: “For everyone on board the rig, it’s a regular day at work – operations don’t cease just because it’s Christmas Day.”

“I’m spending three weeks offshore on this trip, and although I’m going to be away from my wife and son I know that they are going to be with the rest of the family and will have a fantastic time.

“When they’re opening their presents, I’ll be serving up breakfast to a small army of hungry drill crew, engineers, roughnecks and roustabouts – the whole complement of people who help keep a rig running.”

A caterer for more than 30 years, Mr Seed began working for offshore catering contractor Trinity International Services four years ago and strives to provide the workers with traditional, hot food that they will enjoy.

As much as the father-of-three enjoys his job, he values his time spent at home with his wife and youngest son Kasen, 3, more. He said: “I think working offshore gives me far better quality time with the family – we work a three weeks-on, three weeks-off cycle so when I’m on land, my time is my own.”