22nd November 2019
Established 1872. Online since 1996.

Service to mark anniversary of helicopter crash

0 comments, , by , in Headlines, News
The wreckage of the Super Puma helicopter which crashed into the North Sea on its approach to Sumburgh Airport in August 2013. There were four fatalities. Photo: Peter Hutchison

The wreckage of the Super Puma helicopter which crashed into the North Sea on its approach to Sumburgh Airport in August 2013. Photo: Peter Hutchison

A dedication service will be held at Sumburgh Airport this weekend to mark the first anniversary of last year’s fatal helicopter crash.

Four people were killed when the Super Puma L2 plunged into the sea at Garths Ness on 23rd August 2013.

Emergency services and airport workers will attend a short service at the airport’s memorial site – dedicated to all those who lost their lives in aircraft incidents in Shetland over the past three decades – on Saturday. Some of the 14 passengers who survived the crash are also expected to attend.

Following the service a wreath will be placed in the sea at the accident site by airport fire service staff from the fast rescue boat.
The locally-based search and rescue helicopters will carry out a fly past as the wreath is laid.

Locals are also invited to attend the short service, which will take place at 4.45pm.

Airport memorial committee chairman, Nigel Flaws said: “As we approach the anniversary of the helicopter crash, we are extending an invitation to members of the local community who may wish to join us in paying their respects to those who lost their lives in this incident.”

The memorial site is positioned to the east of the main terminal building at Sumburgh Airport and is accessible from the car park, along the eastern shoreline.

Last year’s emergency was sparked when the CHC-operated Super Puma crashed into the sea less than a mile south west of Garths Ness. It prompted widespread concerns surrounding off-shore helicopter safety.

The four people who died were Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland;  Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin; Gary McCrossan, 59, from Inverness and George Allison, 57, from Winchester.

Meanwhile, a new “category A” emergency breathing system (EBS) was due to be rolled out today. The first groups of offshore workers to be equipped with the EBS were due to take off to offshore installations early this morning.
The system was developed  in response to a government inquiry and report into helicopter safety following last year’s crash.

It was approved in July, and is expected to become a mandatory piece of safety equipment for all personnel travelling offshore from the UK from mid-September.

About Ryan Taylor

Ryan Taylor has worked as a reporter since 1995, and has been at The Shetland Times since 2007, covering a wide variety of news topics. Before then he reported for other newspapers in the Highlands, where he was raised, and in Fife, where he began his career with DC Thomson. He also has experience in broadcast journalism with Grampian Television. He has lived in Shetland since 2002, where he harbours an unhealthy interest in old cars and motorbikes.

View other stories by »

Your Comment

Please note, it is the policy of The Shetland Times to publish comments and letters from named individuals only. Both forename and surname are required.

Comments are moderated. Contributors must observe normal standards of decency and tolerance for the opinions of others.

The views expressed are those of contributors and not of The Shetland Times.

The Shetland Times reserves the right to decline or remove any contribution without notice or stating reason.

Comments are limited to 200 words but please email longer articles or letters to editorial@shetlandtimes.co.uk for consideration and include a daytime telephone number and your address. If emailing information in confidence please put "Not for publication" in both the subject line and at the top of the main message.

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.