Archive for the ‘piper alpha’ Category

Today has been quite the day for reflection and remembering….tomorrow, 6th July 2013 marks the 25th anniversary of quite possibly the worst disaster in the Oil Industry in the UK and maybe the World.  Piper Alpha had an overwhelming effect on the Industry, people at the time and generations to follow.
At 27 now, I was 2 at the time of the tragedy so wasn’t aware of the true extent of this life changing event, but as I’ve grown older I’ve learned the true extent of the tragedy and cannot fully comprehend the devastation the explosions on the rig caused. 
This morning at work, across each of our facilities members of staff watched Remembering Piper Alpha – a powerful and moving video, which left an entire room silent for over 5 minutes once it had ended.  Grown men stood in solemn silence, eyes clearly a little damp and many of us tried to clear our throats, a catch clearly evident when we tried to discuss what we had seen as we returned to our desks and meetings.

This is an event that we can never forget, so many lives lost but never forgotten.  So many men – husbands, fathers, sons, brothers, grandfathers, uncles, nephews, friends, the list is endless were wiped out in 22 minutes….22 minutes is nothing….yet so many lives were cruelly snatched away in that short space of time.

Even with the advancements and improvements in the Industry over the past 25 years, part of me wants to stop friends and family going to work offshore, keep them on land where it’s safer.  A very interesting point was made today at the viewing by one of our safety advisers, when he was asked if there was potential for a repeat of Piper Alpha, alarmingly he said yes.  There are hydrocarbon releases all the time, some worse that those that sparked the first explosions offshore, but LUCK has meant no explosions, valves have kicked in, or alarms have gone off…..luck….luck?!  25 years on and we’re being saved by luck.  Granted no world will be perfect, there won’t be a 100% guarantee that everyone will be safe because of some super duper safety system, but it’d be nice to think that our people are safe offshore.

Its a dangerous job, a dangerous industry, but whilst there’s a need for North Sea Oil and Gas, people will be offshore on the installations montioring, logging, cementing, etc etc to get the fuel to us.

Pound For Piper is an initiative that was launched to maintain the commemorative statue and gardens here in Aberdeen.  I applaud the people that set this up, they’ve shown a great deal of consideration to the families involved, they want to preserve the statute and gardens so that others can appreciate them.  Amazingly, it was set up with a year target, and I think they’re doing well – check them out of Facebook 

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