North Sea ship accident victim named


An offshore worker who died in an accident on a diving support vessel in the North Sea has been named as a man from Northumberland.

David Stephenson, a crewman on the Well Servicer, was airlifted to hospital following the accident during sea trials off the coast of Aberdeen in north east Scotland on Wednesday last week.

The 44-year-old, from Willow Bridge, Choppington, was pronounced dead at Aberdeen Royal Infirmary later the same evening. Full details of the accident have not been released, but it is known that Mr Stephenson suffered crush injuries on the Well Servicer, which is operated by engineering company Technip.

Investigations by the Health and Safety Executive and the Marine Accident Investigation Branch are underway.

The incident was not connected to the crash of a helicopter which went down elsewhere in the North Sea on the same day, April 1, with 16 people on board.

On Sunday, prayers were held in churches across Aberdeenshire for the victims of both tragedies.

The Rev Andrew Jolly, chaplain to the North Sea oil and gas industry, paid homage to all the victims.

David Stephenson, he said: “Whilst his death might be overlooked by some as they focus upon the helicopter tragedy, we must not overlook it because for his family, for his friends and for his colleagues it is every bit as painful and sad. The UK oil and gas industry grieves for those who perished offshore and for their families.

“We cannot begin to imagine the pain and sorrow their loved ones feel at their loss.

“But I am sure we would want them to know that they are not alone and that their loss is our loss too, their sorrow our sorrow and because we share that with them, they can look to us for comfort, love and support.”

The Super Puma helicopter came down on Wednesday afternoon as it returned from a BP oil platform.

Eight bodies were brought ashore last week. Grampian police confirmed that the bodies of seven of the remaining eight victims were recovered later by divers close to the scene of the accident.


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