I watched the news reports from home, but got to work the next day and the Nimrod line was generating search and rescue aircraft to hold station over the rig and coordinate the rescue effort.
Several years later I was chatting to a bloke who worked for a company that certified oil rig workers for off shore work. He told me that the last part of the exam was to climb to a very high platform above the swimming pool, and they switched off all the lights. The workers then had to jump off the platform into the pool, in the dark, without hesitating. Hesitate or refuse to go and you don't get the certificate.
Further discussions highlighted that the best people to pass this part of the test were ex-forces. When told to jump they went, and the majority of the survivors on the night were those who jumped from the rig into the water rather than waiting for rescue or direction.
It was from (iirc) 64ft wearing a BoT trade lifejacket, and just to inspire you with confidence, you were told repeatedly that failure to properly tie off and hold down the crap design would either knock you out or break your neck when you hit the water. And you were also told not to be in a hurry to get in the water, hypothermia, not fire was the usual killer at sea. You were taught getting off a rig by jumping was very much under the 'absolutely don't do this if at all possible' category.
Little to do with wether you were used to obeying orders or not, it was down to the luck of the draw if you survived that night, the people who died trapped in the module were doing exactly what they'd been told to do, retreat to the accommodation module to await either the fire being put out or evacuation - no one in any of the planning ever considered the main gas line letting go, once it did, there was nothing anyone could do, it was a totally unfightable fire. The people who jumped into the sea? No choice if you are under a raging fire and its jump or burn. 9 of the fatalities recorded that night were in the rescue boat from Sandhaven, she'd picked up six men out of the water under the rig when a gas line parted. And once the line parted, almost no one else survived on Piper Alpha.
Training counted for nothing that night, everything that could go wrong, did go wrong - repeatedly, and in spades - and it was a miracle anyone survived.