Ser­vice for ’copter tragedy vic­tims

Evening Express (Extra Edition) - - FRONT PAGE - By Neil Evans

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.

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