Company to be sentenced over North Sea shipping accident
A company will be sentenced today for health and safety offences relating to the deaths of three sailors.
In September 2007 coxswains Finlay MacFadyen, 48, and Robert O'Brien, 59, and boatman Robert Ebertowski, died after collapsing on board the Viking Islay, a North Sea rescue support ship operated by Vroon Offshore Ltd.
The company, which is based in Aberdeen, will appear at Sheffield Crown Court after pleading guilty to breaching health and safety regulations in connection with the incident.
The three men suffocated in an oxygen-depleted compartment of the vessel, after Mr Ebertowski went through a hatch into a chain locker that was usually kept sealed.
Mr O'Brien went to help him but was also overcome by the lack of oxygen, and Mr MacFadyen tried to enter the chamber wearing breathing apparatus, but collapsed when it became dislodged.
All three men were pronounced dead after being airlifted to Hull Royal Infirmary.
The ship's captain, Donald Fryer, was cleared of causing the men's deaths after a trial earlier this month.
The Viking Islay provides emergency and rescue services to the offshore industry in the North Sea.
The ship was operating in Amethyst gas field, which is off the mouth of the River Humber, near the Ensco 92 gas drilling station when the accident happened on September 23 2007.
Mr MacFadyen was from Aberdeen, Mr O'Brien was from Leven, Fife, and Mr Ebertowski was from Gdynia in Poland.
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