Shetland Coastguard and divers tackling Bourbon Dolphin incident

News - April 13, 2007

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Shetland Coastguard has confirmed that it is co-ordinating a Search and Rescue (SAR) operation 75 nautical miles north west of Shetland where the AHTS Bourbon Dolphin capsized.

Shetland Coastguard scrambled the rescue helicopter Lima Charlie to the scene and was in communication with the following three vessels which are also assisting in the SAR operation: Olympic Hercules, Viking Victory, and Highland Valour.

An additional civilian rescue helicopter was also despatched to the scene, as was the dive support vessel Subsea Viking.

In a statement, the Coastguard said weather conditions on scene were good visibility with moderate seas.

Neville Davis, Rescue Co-ordination Centre Manager, Shetland Coastguard said shortly after the incident last night that 10 persons had been recovered.

In a later statement, Shetland Coastguard said the rescue operation had been scaled back for the night, and said 10 crewman had been recovered, three were confirmed as deceased and five remain missing.

"Shetland Coastguard have now stood down the rescue helicopters," said the Coastguard, noting that they would resume the search for the remaining five crewman again at first light, however the SAR operation will be changed to a Search and Recovery operation.

A naval diving unit has been flown to the Transocean Rather platform and divers were expected to assist in the continuing search throughout the night.

All non essential personnel were down-manned from the Transocean Rather platform as there was a minimal risk that the capsized vessel could potentially damage the platform. This would seem to suggest that the AHTS was handling an anchor an attached to it via an anchor chain at the time that the capsize took place, although this has not been confirmed.


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