Written by Joe Churcher – 05/11/2016 6:00 am Energy Voice
The 30th anniversary of the North Sea oil industry’s worst helicopter crash will be marked today at a service of remembrance.
This year’s annual commemoration of all those who have died offshore is being held almost three decades to the day since the Chinook disaster.
Only two of the 47 people on board the aircraft survived when it came down on the way back to Sumburgh from the Brent Delta fields.
Special candles will be lit in memory of the victims and the four people added to the books of remembrance in the last 12 months.
Among them was Iain Stuart, a 41-year-old father from Laurencekirk. killed in a helicopter crash off the coast of Norway in April.
The service is being held in Aberdeen’s Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting, whose Oil and Gas Chapel houses the books of remembrance.
Family and friends of the dead will be among those present to hear names read out and to pause for a minute’s silence.
Church of England vicar Pauline Nixon, whose husband was among those who died when a Super Puma crashed off Sumburgh in 2013, will offer her personal reflections.
Finn and Molly Mitchell, whose father Warren Mitchell died in a 2009 helicopter crash off Peterhead, also involving a Super Puma, will carry the books of remembrance.
The Rev Gordon Craig, who will officiate as chaplain to the oil and gas industry, said: “It seemed very appropriate that this year we commemorate those lost during our annual service.
“What all the families share is the suddenness of their loss and getting that horrible knock on the door to be told their loved one is not coming back.”
Annual Service of Remembrance 5th Nov 2016 at 1100am
The Kirk of St Nicholas on Union St, Aberdeen houses the ‘Oil Chapel’, a lovely space created in the aftermath of the Piper Alpha disaster, and is the ‘spiritual focus’ for the industry. In 2013 the industry felt it would be appropriate during the 25th Anniversary year of Piper Alpha to establish a ‘Book of Remembrance’ to commemorate those who have died when working offshore. The Book of Remembrance is housed in the Oil Chapel. The Book of Remembrance is updated each year for the Annual Service of Remembrance and the names of those added are placed on display for the first time.
The industry will gather on the 5th of November and remember those who have died offshore. The names of those added to the Book of Remembrance during the last year will be on view for the first time. This year sees the 30th anniversary of the Sumburgh Chinook helicopter crash – the worst aviation accident in the history of the North Sea Oil Industry. Forty five men died on the 6th November 1986 when mechanical failure caused their Chinnok to come down on the approach to Sumburgh. Those lost in this tragic accident will be remembered at the service of remembrance on 5th November.
The format of the service will be dignified but simple. It will open with a candle being lit for all who have died offshore since the industry began. A candle will then be lit for each of those who have died during the previous year. This year an additional candle will be lit commemorating those who lost their lives on 6th November 1986. The core of the service will be an Act of Remembrance including a ‘Roll Call’ of those added to the Book of Remembrance followed by a piper’s lament. The lament will lead into our minute’s silence for all to pause and remember.
Piper Alpha Remembrance
On Wednesday 6th July at 0800 the Chaplaincy will be joining the Step Change in Safety Team at Hazlehead Park to remember those who died 28 years ago on Piper Alpha in a short Act of Remembrance. The gathering will take place in Piper Memorial Garden
Remembering those lost on 1st April 2009
Daily prayers are held every day in the Kirk of St Nicholas on Union St Aberdeen at 1.05pm. On Friday the 1st of April these prayers will take place in the ‘Oil Chapel’ which is located within St Nicholas as we remember the 17 who tragically lost their lives in two separate accidents on 1st April 2009. Helicopter G-REDL and DSV Wellservicer.
All are welcome to attend.
Remembering those lost on 23 August 2013
Two years ago, on the 23rd August 2013, George Allison, Gary McCrossan, Sarah Darnley and Duncan Munro were killed when their helicopter came down off Sumburgh. Yesterday Total E&P flew their families to the Sumburgh Airport Memorial where we held a short ceremony to remember them
Trust Fund Receives Donation of £10,000
On 24th of April at the International Association of Drilling Contractors (IADC), North Sea Chapter Safety Awards Dinner it was announced that Chaplaincy Trust Fund was to receive the Val Hood Award, a donation made in memory of the IADC’s Val Hood. We are thrilled to receive this award which will help us support present and past members of the industry who are in need of financial support. The Oil Chaplaincy Trust Fund is the industry’s charity for its people. In recent months the Fund has supported a number of families facing trying times. Support has been given for a wide range of needs including assistance for a new mobility vehicle, medical equipment, house repair, hospital visit travel costs.
Piper Alpha 25th Anniversary Commemoration – Video
You can also watch the video by clicking the following link http://vimeo.com/69827641.
Always remembered Never forgotten RIP