Geoff was born in 1948 and grew up on a council estate in Middlesbrough in the North East of England, the 5th of 8 children. Leaving school with no qualifications, he had a few different jobs before starting work in the oil and gas industry on the Ninian Southern offshore oil platform in 1978. moving to work for Occidental Petroleum on the Piper Alpha platform 2 years later.
During his time working offshore he experienced 2 very traumatic incidents, firstly the death of his son on Christmas Day 1978 and secondly the Piper Alpha oil rig explosion on 6th July 1988. Geoff was the Control Room Operator on the night of the disaster and was fortunate to escape with minor injuries. He spent the next 4 years attending enquiries and recovering from PTSD, before starting his life afresh.
He retrained and registered as an Independent Financial Adviser and 25 years later owns a very successful business which provides a living for 18 people.
Geoff has given regular talks about the disaster and lessons learnt and has travelled extensively giving lectures within the UK and in Australia, Canada and Norway. When he gave evidence to the Cullen Enquiry, Lord Cullen described him as "an honest and reliable witness".