‘Insufficient evidence’ for criminal case over Bourbon Dolphin sinking

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No criminal action will be taken over an incident which led to eight deaths when a Norwegian offshore vessel capsized north-west of Shetland just over five years ago.

The Bourbon Dolphin capsized in April 2007 as she 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 her over.

The captain of the vessel, Oddne Arve Remoy, and his 14-year-old son David, who was on work experience, were among those who died.
Seven of the 15 crew survived after a major air and sea rescue involving RAF helicopters, naval divers and an unmanned submarine. The wreck of the Bourbon Dolphin sank around 75 miles north-west of Shetland following the incident in the Chevron field.

Three years ago Bourbon Offshore, the company which owned the vessel, was fined nearly £500,000.

The Crown Office today said there was “insufficient evidence” to initiate criminal proceedings against any party involved.

A Crown Office spokeswoman said: “The procurator fiscal received a report from the health and safety executive in connection with the rig move which led to the capsizing of the anchor handling vessel, Bourbon Dolphin, in April 2007.

“After extensive investigation by our specialist health and safety division, including interviews with key witnesses, and careful consideration of all the facts and circumstances, crown counsel has concluded there should be no proceedings against the companies reported, due to there being insufficient evidence.”

Following an earlier investigation, 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.


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