ROVworld Subsea Information

Industry players on board missing plane
Date: Tuesday, June 02, 2009 @ 12:32:08 EDT

Industry players on board missing planeAt least 10 oil and gas industry workers have been confirmed as passengers on the Air France flight which went missing after encountering turbulence over the Atlantic Ocean.

Karsten Moholt, 58, the main owner of the Bergen-based offshore services company of the same name, and his son, Karsten Aleksander Moholt, 35, were travelling on Air France flight AF447 from Rio de Janeiro.

The family company, which specialises in providing electrical and mechanical services to the offshore industry, has carried out a number of contracts in Brazil, a report in local newspaper Bergensavisen said.

The newspaper also confirmed that Icelandic national Helge Gustafsson, 44, who worked for FMC Technologies in Norway, was also on the flight.

Gustafsson was based at FMC's Aagotnes office, outside Bergen. He was travelling from Brazil to a work assignment in Angola, according to a local newspaper report.

Meanwhile, Brazilian press reports said Petrobras press officer Adriana Francisco Sluijs, 40, was on the plane.

Also on board was Joao Marques da Silva Filho, 67, an executive with Brazilian shipyard Estaleiro Atlantico Sul, based in the north-eastern state of Pernambuco. South Korean giant Samsung is a 10% partner in the yard.

Aberdeen-based subsea engineering player Subsea 7 has also confirmed that one of its employees, Graham Gardner, 52, from Gourock, Scotland, was a passenger on the Air France flight.

A Devon Energy geologist Michael Harris and his wife Anne, were confirmed to be on the jet, said a Devon spokesman.

Harris was working for Devon out of the company's Rio de Janeiro office.

Air France flight AF447, carrying 228 people, was en route from Rio de Janeiro in Brazil to Charles de Gaulle airport in Paris when it vanished, without sending any distress signal.

The flight left Rio at 1900 local time (2200 GMT) on Sunday, carrying 216 passengers and 12 crew. The plane was last in radar contact three and a half hours after take-off.

The last direct contact that the ground had with the Airbus A330-200 was at 0130 GMT, when the pilots warned that the plane was flying into turbulence.

An automatic alert was sent from the plane roughly 15 minutes later, indicating a failure in the aircraft's electrical system.

Reports were emerging today that the Brazilian Air Force had found remains of an aeroplane in an area near the Atlantic Island of Fernando de Noronha.

Air Force officials told the Wall Street Journal that a search aircraft had spotted debris about 400 miles (645 kilometres) north-west of the island, in an area close to Flight 447's last known position.

"The search continues because it's very little material given the size of the plane," the newspaper quoted Colonel Jorge Amaral, an Air Force spokesman, as saying.

The debris was picked up using radar, which detected metallic material in the ocean. Officials said oil and an aeroplane seat had also been spotted.

It is not yet clear if the debris belongs to the missing aircraft.

Yesterday StatoilHydro confirmed that three of its employees - a Norwegian national, Kristian Berg Andersen, 37, and two Brazilians, 29-year-old Marcela Pellizon and Gustavo Peretti, 30 - were on the missing plane.

• Air France has established a special toll-free number for the attention of relatives and friends to check if they were on board the flight. The phone number reserved for relatives and friends is: 0800 800 812 in France; 0800 881 20 20 in Brazil; and +33 1 57 02 10 55 for calls from all other countries.

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