Paul Wheelhouse MSP, Minister for Environment and Climate Change, has issued a statement following the news that a crew member has died on a standby vessel in the North Sea.
He says: ‘My condolences go to the family and friends of the crew member who lost his life on the support vessel, Vos Sailor.
‘These are tragic circumstances and my thoughts are with his loved ones at this difficult time.’
Vos Sailor was in the Balmoiral field, around 120 miles off Aberdeen at the time, late this afternoon [15th December]. She was having a difficult time in heavy seas, taking on water and understood to have suffered serious hull damage from wave impact. The fatality is thought to have occurred during this period.
According to the Maritime and Coastguard Agency, the crew sent a MayDay call which was picked up by a third party and relayed to Aberdeen coastguard.
These were conditions that necessitated the evacuation of non-essential staff from a nearby oil rig. At the time of the incident, winds in the area were reported to be Southeasterly 60-75 knots with 6.5 metre seas.
Three SAR helicopters winched eleven more crew members safely off Vos Sailor. These were the Coastguard Search and Rescue helicopter from Sumburgh; an RAF helicopter from RAF Lossiemouth; and Bond 1 – the BP Jigsaw helicopter.
The damaged boat is not now thought to be likely to sink and may be towed in to port.