22nd May 2018
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Fourth body recovered from helicopter wreckage

A fourth body has been recovered from the wreckage of the helicopter which came down near Sumburgh on Friday.

Shetland area commander, chief inspector Angus MacInnes, confirmed the news. He said the operation had been hampered by difficult weather conditions but the recovery was made this afternoon.

Specialist divers were brought in to help with the search and Aith and Lerwick lifeboats have been at the scene again today assisting recovery efforts.

This afternoon’s recovery brings the total number of bodies found to four. The victims were yesterday named as Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison.

Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison.

Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison.

Two people remain in the Gilbert Bain Hospital with non-life threatening injuries. A further 12 people were released from hospital and returned to Aberdeen yesterday.

Family liaison officers are working with those who have lost loved ones, Mr MacInnes said. Officers are also working with the offshore industry to offer support to those affected.

He said: “”The North Sea is an extreme environment which has posed challenges for the recovery operation, not least the weather conditions which we have seen over the last 24 hours.

“Here in Shetland we are working with Police Scotland colleagues from across the country and partner agencies locally to ensure that the recovery operation is concluded as efficiently and effectively as possible.”

Mr MacInnes also spoke of the shock and mourning which was being experienced in Shetland and Aberdeen, as well as by those who work in the industry.

He said: “Friday’s incident has had a huge impact on those who work or have relatives in the oil and gas industries but also the communities in Shetland and Aberdeen. There is a tangible sense of mourning and shock in the area and there is unlikely to be anyone who hasn’t had this on their minds over the last few days.

“The quick and coordinated response by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), RNLI and other emergency services may have prevented further loss of life in this already tragic incident.

“The response to Friday’s incident has included hundreds of people from a variety of organisations including the MCA, RNLI, RAF, Police Scotland, the local NHS, local authority and the offshore industry itself.

He added: “In the north of Scotland we have had responsibility for the policing of the offshore industry for several decades and regrettably we have considerable experience and expertise in dealing with this type of event.

“We have well-rehearsed plans in place to quickly respond should the worst happen and the public should be assured that we have made the full resources of Police Scotland available.

“This will continue to be the case as we move forward with our investigation into the cause of this tragedy.”

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