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Piper Alpha, 30 years on.

(16 Posts)
SueDonim Fri 06-Jul-18 14:05:14

I wasn't quite sure where to put this but felt I just wanted to mark that today it is 30 years since the Piper Alpha disaster.

61 men came home, 167 did not. My older daughter has friends who grew up without their fathers because of Piper Alpha. sad

gillybob Fri 06-Jul-18 14:11:32

My cousins best friend and her siblings lost their father in this terrible disaster . I can’t believe it’s 30 years ago SueDonim .

Feelingmyage55 Fri 06-Jul-18 15:23:10

Glad you have started this thread. This deeply affected many colleagues and friends. A tragedy ......... brought back so many memories of sadness but also bravery, hard work and a feeling of disbelief. Going to church later today to remember.

M0nica Fri 06-Jul-18 15:37:08

DH had a career lifetime as an engineer in the offshore industry. I remember this incident only so well, it affected us quite deeply at the time as DH was regularly on and off a lot of offshore structures.

annep Fri 06-Jul-18 16:08:38

I remember this and how we all felt so sad and sorry for those affected.

SueDonim Fri 06-Jul-18 18:07:12

My dh worked offshore in the N Sea at the time, though we were away on holiday at the time. In those pre-mobile days, we came home to messages from people asking if Dh was ok.

It was difficult with my two boys, they were 12 and 8 at the time. You try and reassure them as much as you can but of course, you can never make promises. sad

Katek Fri 06-Jul-18 18:28:36

I remember the sense of absolute disbelief followed by shock and horror. DH was called into ARI to donate blood as he has a less common group. His company at the time had a cable laying vessel in the field and the ship/crew worked alongside the Silver Pit in the rescue operation. DH has never really spoken about what these guys said when they came onshore.

Bob Ballantyne, one of the survivors, read a beautiful poem by the African poet, Birago Diop at the 10th anniversary commemoration. It says it all. Will try and post a link.

Katek Fri 06-Jul-18 18:35:32

Hope this works.

jusnoneed Fri 06-Jul-18 20:18:33

A friends husband was one of the victims so we are reminded of this tragic event every year, leaving her and their three children.
30 years ago, doesn't seem possible.

Menopaws Fri 06-Jul-18 20:39:29

One of the residents where I work was a deep sea diver and was right under piper alpha when it went up, he remembers the noise and seeing the accommodation pod sink into the sea with all his mates in it, he was yanked up so quick he got the bends and has suffered ever since. His memory is amazingly sharp but is prone to outbursts etc but his memory of that day is razor sharp.
My daughter used to go out with an oilrigger and they use a video of the piper alpha to show what not to do.

SueDonim Fri 06-Jul-18 21:44:26

Menopaws, it did bring about a change of safety culture in the N Sea industry, although there is a fear that today it is slipping backwards again, with cost-cutting foremost in managers minds.

I'm glad my Dh is out of it all now.

Katek Fri 06-Jul-18 22:20:31

Mine is still in it SueDonim although he now works from home on a consultancy basis. He’s not been offshore for a good many years. SIL also managed to find a shore based job 17 years ago, thank goodness.

Caledonai14 Sun 08-Jul-18 11:19:36

Thanks to all who remembered Piper Alpha here and elsewhere. So many loved ones lost and they should never be forgotten by the rest of us. The many radio and television programmes being aired now should be compulsory viewing and listening for every offshore company attempting to make cutbacks 30 years on.

SueDonim Sun 08-Jul-18 13:13:35

That's the truth of it, Caledonail. Are memories really so short that companies have forgotten the lessons learnt?

Katek Sun 08-Jul-18 13:29:23

DH says that the ethos is still very much production is king. Even HSE recommendations face months of debate and discussion before anything (if at all) is done. He describes safety methods as a Swiss cheese - as long as all the little glitches don’t line up to make one big hole then you ‘should’ be ok. So glad my son teaches.

SueDonim Sun 08-Jul-18 14:45:57

Ah, yes, the Swiss cheese analogy is what my Dh uses, too. Everything is all right until the day it isn't.

My son is a psychologist and researches into safety cultures. He's worked with oil & gas, amongst other industries.