Jobs being put at risk by continued Super Puma grounding say union

RMT says jobs are on the line due to the continued grounding of the Super Puma fleet
RMT says jobs are on the line due to the continued grounding of the Super Puma fleet
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THE RMT union says an increasing number of North Sea oil jobs are being put at risk by the continued grounding of the Super Puma fleet.

EC 225 models have been out of service since one ditched off Shetland in October with fleet operators saying that it could be February at the earliest before they return to the air.

The RMT union said it had evidence that workers were being made redundant because of ongoing logistical problems.

Industry body Oil and Gas UK said it was making inquiries to find out to what extent the situation was affecting people.

In October a problem in an aircraft’s gearbox caused a CHC-owned helicopter to ditch in the sea while carrying an oil crew from Aberdeen to a rig 86 miles north-west of Shetland. The 17 passengers and two crew were rescued and managed to escape injury.

In November, offshore workers faced disruption after the Super Puma EC225 helicopter fleet was grounded pending an investigation into recent failures.

All 16 EC225s operating in the North Sea – one-fifth of the entire fleet – were grounded following the accidents.

In May, all 14 passengers and crew members on a Super Puma helicopter were rescued after it ditched about 30 miles (48km) off the coast of Aberdeen. It was on a scheduled flight from Aberdeen Airport to a platform in the North Sea.

On April 1, 2009, 16 people died when a Super Puma plunged into the sea off the Aberdeenshire coast. The gearbox of the Bond-operated helicopter failed while returning from the BP Miller platform.