02 April 2009

A tragedy in Scotland

While we were all caught up in the hype, spin, trivia and half truths coming out of the G20, there was a tragedy in Scotland yesterday.

I hope that Subrosa will not mind if I repeat her blog post on ‘The Human Cost of Oil’.

We can only imagine the shock and grief of the families and friends of those involved in today's helicopter tragedy in the North Sea.  Sixteen people were on board the Super Puma as was bringing workers back to shore.  Eight bodies have been found but it seems there will be no survivors as this helicopter crashed into the sea, compared with the incident in February when the helicopter managed to ditch into the sea, resulting in all lives being saved.

There was a MayDay call around 2pm this afternoon.  Aberdeen coastguard launched a major operation involving RAF helicopters, a Nimrod place and 11 ships and boats and the first rescue helicopter, which was quickly on the scene, could only see 2 lifeboats and bodies floating in the sea. 

The First Minister Alex Salmond described the tragedy as "devastating and appalling" which is very true.  Not only does such a disaster affect the north east of Scotland but about half the workers come from further afield.  Since 1985 there have been 56 deaths and 18 survivors in helicopters taking oil workers to and from north sea platforms.  That figure does not include today's deaths.

This puts all the glitter and spin of the G20 into proportion and all the talk about MPs being worth more than they are paid.   The people who died today provide the UK with its oil and it's North Sea oil which has given the UK the standard of living they have enjoyed over the past 40 years.  I do hope those who live both inside and outside Scotland realise the sacrifice made today and spare a thought for the families and friends of the dead.

When you read something like this, it puts all the platitudes radiating from the G20 in a true perspective.

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you Howard. I've amended my wee error in the first paragraph too, didn't notice it when I posted and my only excuse is that it was very late.

    I do hope we all remember who works to supply our oil and gas.