Scott makes renewed call for FAI into 2013 helicopter crash

Shetland MSP Tavish Scott has made a renewed call for a fatal accident inquiry to be held into the helicopter tragedy off Sumburgh four and a half years ago in which four oil workers died.

He has lodged a parliamentary motion calling on the investigation to get under way after receiving representations from the families involved.

The aircraft, a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma Mk 2, crashed into the sea at Garths Ness on 24rd August 2013. Eighteen people were on board as the helicopter made its approach to Sumburgh.

The four who lost their lives were Sarah Darnley from Elgin, Gary McCrossan from Inverness, Duncan Munro from Bishop Auckland and George Allison from Winchester. Ms Darnley’s mother Anne has previously made a call for an FAI.

The crash was the fifth of its kind to have taken place in the North Sea since February 2009.

Tavish Scott

Mr Scott said the time had come for answers.

He said: “Other fatal accident inquiries seem to have happened more quickly.

“We understand that there must be many complexities that we are, as yet, not aware of – but there has to be at some point a decision on what’s going to happen and when the fatal accident inquiry is going to begin.

“Hence the parliamentary motion to encourage that process to begin.

“I have written to the Lord Advocate about the delay. What I have stressed is the pressure that the delay puts on the families, and indeed everyone, in the North Sea and the oil and gas industry because people want to see this FAI learn what happened and see recommendations made about the future.”

The tragedy has already been subject to an investigation by the Air Accident Investigation Branch. Trade unions have also called for an investigation to take place.

Mr Scott said there were “lots of complexities” to the incident.

He added: “But I think it can’t go on indefinately. This is a heck of a long process, in particular, for families. And I think in the longer term we need to take a look at how long these things do take. I think it would be important to have some transparency about the time this whole thing has taken once it has come to an end.”


Add Your Comment
  • Charles L. Gallagher

    • January 27th, 2018 17:31

    t’s not often I agree with TS but the delay to the FAI is cruel and inhumane for the families. I trust that he’s pressed AC to push hard at Wastemonster for it’s up to them to decide.

    I would also advocate that where a FAI is necessary then it should be held within three months max after all Police and Accident Investigators reports have been completed and this should be made a statutory obligation. Apart from the pain suffered by relatives I often get the impression that these inquiries are delayed to protect high profile companies.

    As a matter of interest if anyone knows the answer, do the Norwegians have a comparable system and if yes have they completed their inquiry into the Bergen crash? I seem to remember last autumn a TV report about Norway’s conclusion and placing of blame?


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