LEST WE FORGET
Service for ’copter tragedy victims
IT IS two years since the North-east was left in shock after 16 men were killed on helicopter flight 85N.
But for many oil workers and other residents the memory of those tragic events remains vivid.
Tomorrow silence will fall once again as prayers are said in memory of the crew and pilots who were aboard the Bond Super Puma which crashed into the North Sea on April 1, 2009.
Only a week after formally taking up his new post as oil and gas chaplain, Martin Grashoff will lead the prayers at the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen city centre.
The Rev Grashoff, pictured, originally from Holland, took over after Andrew Jolly died last year.
He said: “The second anniversary of this tragedy is a time for us all to pause and remember not just the men who died that day, but all their loved ones, friends and colleagues who have been left behind. “ I t wi l l b e a quiet and respectful commemoration
which will take place during daily prayers at the Kirk of St Nicholas Uniting in Aberdeen.
“There, the names of the men will be read out and there will also be a reading of Psalm 121.”
The North-east men killed on flight 85N as it returned from BP’s Miller platform were Brian Barkley, 30, James Costello, 24, Alex Dallas, 62, and Vernon Elrick, 41, all of Aberdeen, Stuart Wood, 27, of Newmachar, Warren Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, and Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick.
Also killed were Raymond Doyle, 57, of C u mbe r n a u l d , J a me s Edwards, 33, of Liverpool, Nairn Ferrier, 40, of Dundee, Nolan Goble, 34, of Norwich, Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus, David Rae, 63, of Dumfries, R i c h a r d Me n z i e s , 2 4 , o f Droitwich Spa, and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, of Latvia.
Also remembered will be David “Luey” Stephenson, 44, who was killed on the same day aboard the diving support vessel Wellservicer.
The chaplaincy, which was set up after the Piper Alpha disaster, has prayer services in memory of other tragedies affecting people involved in the oil industry throughout the year, including one for the 1988 tragedy on July 6.