Union cancels helicopter firm demo
An offshore union has cancelled a protest targeting the operator of a helicopter which crashed into the North Sea, killing four people.
The National Union of Rail, Maritime and Transport Workers (RMT) said it had secured a "massive breakthrough" on access to the workforce on platforms and at heliports.
It had planned to protest near the Aberdeen heliport of CHC, the operator of the Super Puma helicopter that came down off the southern tip of Shetland on Friday night. The crash was the fifth incident involving Super Pumas in the North Sea since 2009.
A rally will instead be staged outside the union's headquarters in the city's Crown Street calling for safety improvements.
General secretary Bob Crow said that Oil and Gas UK had met the union's demand of guaranteed access to offshore workers.
He said: "This means we can speak to our workers and find out what their concerns are and relay them back. It gives them a voice. The rally will let people offshore know that we are doing everything possible to try and secure safety for them and their families."
Relatives of those killed as a result of offshore safety failings are expected to attend the event at 11am on Wednesday.
A search for the aircraft's black box data recorder, which was in the helicopter's tail section, is being carried out by salvage experts at the site of the crash using specialist sonar equipment.
There were 16 passengers and two crew on the Super Puma AS332 L2 travelling from the Borgsten Dolphin support vessel when it crashed into the sea, killing three men and one woman.
The victims were named as Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland, County Durham; George Allison, 57, from Winchester, Hampshire; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin, Moray; and 59-year-old Gary McCrossan, from Inverness. Three of the bodies from the crash arrived in Aberdeen by ferry on Monday morning and the fourth reached the city, also by ferry, by 8am on Tuesday.