Three dead, search continues for missing

Three members of 15 crews died and the search for five missing continued early Friday morning after a Norwegian oil rig support vessel capsized off the Shetland Isles north of the Scottish mainland.

Three dead, search continues for missing
Three members of a 15-strong crew died and the search for five missing continued early Friday morning after a Norwegian oil rig support vessel capsized off the Shetland Isles north of the Scottish mainland.

The Bourbon Dolphin capsized about 75 nautical miles (139 kilometres) west of the north Shetlands near the Transocean Rather oil platform at about 5:00 pm (1600 GMT) on Thursday, the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA) said.

Ten have been rescued, but the Shetland Coastguard confirmed three of those had died Thursday night. The remaining seven were airlifted to a hospital in the Shetlands.

All of the ship's crew are Norwegian nationals.

Though the search for the remaining five continued, the coastguard said it was standing down rescue helicopters, which would resume at first light.

"Shetland Coastguard have now stood down the rescue helicopters," an MCA spokesman said.

"They will resume the search for the remaining five crewmen again at first light, however the Search and Rescue operation will be changed to a Search and Recovery operation."

"A naval diving unit has been flown to the Transocean Rather platform and divers will be assisting in the continuing search throughout the night.

"All non-essential personnel were down-manned from the Transocean Rather platform as there is a very minimal risk that the capsized vessel could potentially damage the platform."

Mark Clark of the MCA had said earlier that the five still missing were feared trapped under the hull of the ship: "We cannot see anyone therefore we can only assume they are under the hull."

"If people are under the hull then we don't know how much air they have or whether they have managed to struggle into their survival suits -- and the water is around five degrees (Celsius) at the moment."

Michael Mulford, from the Royal Air Force base at Kinloss, northeast Scotland, told Sky News television an RAF Nimrod plane and a specialist North Sea rescue helicopter had been sent to the scene.

"One moment that vessel would have been alongside a rig and for some reason ... she has capsized. That creates an immediate emergency situation 100 miles away from the nearest island," he said.

Mulford did not have details about the condition of those rescued, nor weather conditions in the area at the time.
Last Mod: 20 Eylül 2018, 18:16
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