Published: 07/03/2013 17:15 - Updated: 07/03/2013 16:35

Probe into rig worker's death continues

The harbour at Invergordon where the fatal incident took place

A PROBE into an Easter Ross rig death continued today (Thursday) as investigators prepared to step in to find out what had happened.

Police are investigating the death of a man who fell from an oil rig which has become a landmark fixture in Invergordon.

While the dead man had not been named as we went to press, it is understood he is not local to the area.

The Wednesday morning tragedy happened on the Transocean Sedco 712 rig, which has been a familiar fixture in the Cromarty Firth for several years. It is currently the subject of an extensive revamp in Invergordon.

Transocean, the rig’s owners, said the 30-year-old rig was towed to the quayside at nearby Invergordon at the end of January for maintenance and upgrade work. A spokesman for the company yesterday told the Journal: “Transocean can confirm a man has died following a fall on the Sedco 712 drilling rig shortly before 7am on Tuesday.

“The incident is being investigated by the authorities. The man’s family has been advised and we are currently doing all we can to support them at this sad time.”

The rig had been “stacked” in the Cromarty Firth before being moved for the refit.

The spokesman said work had been stopped on Wednesday as a mark of respect and that a meeting was due to take place on Thursday to decide when it would be restarted.

A spokeswoman for the Health and Safety Executive confirmed that the agency, which probes workplace accidents, was being kept informed of developments.

She said investigations were only at a preliminary stage, with Northern Constabulary taking a lead at present.

The death is the second fatality at the Easter Ross port in recent years. Scaffolder Lewis MacDonald died after a 130ft fall from the Ocean Princess rig in November 2008. That sparked a fatal accident inquiry.

The probe found the death had resulted from a tragic accident.

A spokeswoman for the Cromarty Firth Port Authority confirmed the incident and said thoughts were with the family of the dead man.

Police said the matter had been reported to the Health and Safety Executive. A report will be submitted to the procurator fiscal.


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