Troubador Baptism of Fire

Released: 28/06/2018

ISBN: 9781789013597

Format: Paperback

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Baptism of Fire

Life, Death and Piper Alpha


A unique personal survival account of the Piper Alpha disaster, seen from inside the Control Room. 
The 30th anniversay of the disaster will be on 6th July 2018. 
There will be major media interest leading up to the anniversary, including a documentary, James Nesbitt: Disasters that changed Britain due to be shown in April 2018, one episode of which focuses upon Piper Alpha and features the author. 

Baptism of Fire, Life Death and Piper Alpha brings to life the dramatic events of 6th July 1988, the terrible cost in the loss of 167 lives, and the trauma experienced by those who survived. The book also includes the perspective of his family, as they watched the news unfold, and had to cope with the aftermath of the tragedy. 

After the disaster Geoff went on to build a very successful Financial Advice business. His story includes anecdotes from his life, work on the oil rig and a comprehensive account of the disaster. 

The story is one of hope and inspiration which illustrates that, whatever traumatic circumstances we might experience, life does go on and positive lessons can be learnt. It’s possible to have a quality of life which seems unimaginable in the early days, months and even years following such a huge trauma, and life changing event. 

As Geoff says: “It was and still is the worst disaster in the offshore oil industry and that is where it needs to stay. It is a very sad record that hopefully will never be beaten.”

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Geoff Bollands

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".

Geoff Bollands
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