Survivors of last year’s helicopter crash off Sumburgh have thanked their rescuers following a poignant dedication service held to mark the tragedy’s first anniversary.
Over 100 people attended Sumburgh Airport’s memorial site to hear the service given by Fishermen’s Mission Superintendent, Aubrey Jamieson.
In attendance were representatives from the Red Cross, the coastguard, NHS Shetland, police and fire services, as well as members of the local community and SIC councillors.
A new plaque with the names of those who died when the CHC-operated aircraft with 18 people on board plunged from the sky was also dedicated.
Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin; Gary McCrossan, 59, of Inverness and George Allison, 57, from Winchester were lost after the Super Puma L2 crashed two miles south west of Garths Ness, sparking concerns across the offshore industry about helicopter safety.
During today’s service Mr Jamieson said the time was right to pause and honour those whose lives had been so tragically cut short.
He prayed for healing for all those affected by the tragedy, and for all those who work in the oil industry both on and off-shore.
Mr Jamieson also gave thanks for the community efforts and the work of the emergency services, and volunteers, who pulled together to deal with the immediate aftermath of the crash.
Later, crowds were taken to Garths Ness itself where a wreath was laid in the sea by airport fire service staff in a fast rescue boat. The event was also marked by a helicopter fly past.
A statement released on behalf of the survivors said: “We are all here to pay our respects to those who lost their lives that night.
“We are grateful to have the chance to meet and thank the brave crew members who helped us.
“The whole Shetland community rallied around us in a time of need and we would like to express our deep gratitude to so many people – coastguard, RNLI, hospital staff, police, workers at Sumburgh Airport, Red Cross – for everything.”