TRIBUTES have been paid to former RAF search and rescue co-ordinator Stephen Anderson who was on board the Malaysia Airlines plane apparently shot down over Ukraine.
Anderson’s employer Maersk Drilling confirmed that he was on the passenger list of the doomed MH17 passenger jet.
All 298 people, including 10 Britons, on board the flight from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur were killed.
Mr Anderson spent 23 years with the RAF, including running the search and rescue team at Lossiemouth in Scotland for three years.
He moved to Penang in Malaysia four years ago with his wife Joanna, 37, where he worked as a technician for Maersk Drilling.
In a statement Maersk Drilling said: “On Thursday 17 July 2014 at 17.15 CET, we received the news that Malaysian airlines plane MH17 had crashed over Ukraine on its way from Amsterdam to Kuala Lumpur.
“It shortly after became evident that one of our colleagues in Maersk Drilling, Stephen Leslie Anderson, was booked on the plane, and it’s with great sadness that we today, 19 July 2014, received confirmation from Stephen Leslie Anderson’s family that he was on the passenger list and is presumed dead.
“Our thoughts go out to Stephen Leslie Anderson’s family and his colleagues on board Maersk Deliverer, and we will make every effort possible to support and assist family and colleagues.
“Stephen and his wife Joanna were together for 15 years and the whole family spent last Christmas together. Stephen has left behind a beautiful daughter and a loving family.”
Mr Anderson was reportedly Scottish and a former pupil of Inverness Royal Academy.
An investigation is under way into the apparent shooting down of flight MH17 by Moscow-backed separatists in eastern Ukraine, as the UK stepped up calls for tougher sanctions.