Sumburgh helicopter crews help evacuate production vessel after chains break free

Emergency helicopter crews from Sumburgh have been scrambled to help evacuate non-essential staff from a North Sea production vessel after four of its 10 anchor chains broke loose in rough seas.

The Maersk-operated floating production, storage and offloading unit Gryphon Alpha has been battered by heavy storm-force winds around 90 miles east-south-east of Sumburgh.

As well as the coastguard helicopter, a Bond aircraft – also from Sumburgh – has been summoned. An RAF Sea King from Lossiemouth is also on its way. They were expected to arrive on the scene at 2pm.

Tugs have been called to the Gryphon A – which has 114 people on board. It has been shut down in the meantime. The exercise is being co-ordinated by Aberdeen coastguard.


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