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Inquest into man's helicopter death

An inquest into the death of a man in a North Sea helicopter crash will take place today.

Nolan Goble, 34, from Norwich, was among 16 men who died when a Super Puma, operated by Bond Offshore, crashed into the sea off the Aberdeenshire coast on April 1, 2009.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) held before Sheriff Principal Derek Pyle earlier this year found that the tragedy might have been avoided if proper maintenance had been carried out but the Crown Office said the company would not be prosecuted as failings could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

An earlier Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) probe found that the aircraft suffered a "catastrophic failure" of its main rotor gearbox.

Speaking after the findings earlier this year, a spokesman for Bond Offshore said the firm accepted it had made mistakes and lessons had been learned.

Solicitor advocate Tom Marshall, who represented relatives at the FAI, called for a full inquiry.

He said: "It's an appalling state of affairs where 16 men can lose their lives while simply returning from work and yet no one has yet been prosecuted."

The inquest into the death of Mr Goble, who was employed by KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd, will be held in Norwich this morning.

The crash also claimed the lives of captain and co-pilot Paul Burnham, 31, from Methlick in Aberdeenshire, and Richard Menzies, 24, from Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire.

Five men from Aberdeen died: Alex Dallas, 62, James Costello, 24, Stuart Wood, 27, Vernon Elrick, 41, and Brian Barkley, 30; and two workers were from Aberdeenshire: Leslie Taylor, 41, from Kintore, and Warren Mitchell, 38, from Oldmeldrum.

The other victims were Raymond Doyle, 57, from Cumbernauld; David Rae, 63, from Dumfries; Gareth Hughes, 53, from Angus; Nairn Ferrier, 40, from Dundee; James Edwards, 33, from Liverpool;and Mihails Zuravskis, 39, from Latvia.

Many of those killed worked for KCA Deutag Drilling and were returning from BP's Miller platform at the time of the crash.


From Belfast Telegraph