£500,000 fine for Bourbon Dolphin firm

THE NORWEGIAN shipping company which owned the Bourbon Dolphin has been fined nearly £500,000.

The vessel capsized with the loss of eight lives 75 miles north-west of Shetland in April 2007 during an anchor operation.

Norway’s national prosecutor said the new captain had not had enough time to learn about the crew and ship, being given only 90 minutes to take over.

Bourbon Offshore Norway AS can appeal against the fine but has not yet commented.

The Bourbon Dolphin captain and his 14-year-old son, who was on work experience, were among the eight who died in the disaster. Their deaths shocked the small fishing village of Heroy on the west coast of Norway. Seven of the crew survived after a major air-sea rescue involving RAF search and rescue helicopters, naval divers and an unmanned submarine.

The boat capsized as it towed an oil rig’s anchor and chain during a routine manoeuvre. The 330-tonne chain, one of eight anchoring the Transocean Rather drilling rig to the ocean floor near the Rosebank oil field, began sliding across the vessel’s deck, pulling it over.

An inquiry by the Norwegian government raised doubts about the ability of the vessel to carry out such procedures.

The wreck of the Bourbon Dolphin sank three days after the incident in the Chevron field west of Shetland.


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