Posted on 10.02.2008 - 10:50 UTC in OFFSHORE NEWS by ginamc
A rescue operation was launched to airlift more than 500 workers from a North Sea oil rig after a security alert.
The rescue was sparked by a bomb threat made by a woman on the rig, sources said. It is not believed to be terrorism-related.
The alarm was raised on an accommodation block, the Safe Scandinavia, which is attached by bridge to an oil rig in the Britannia field.
Fourteen helicopters, including five from the RAF, have so far airlifted 76 of the 539 workers from the rig, 115 miles north east of Aberdeen.
The accommodation block was evacuated and the workers moved across the bridge on to the rig after the alarm was raised.
A spokesman for RAF Kinloss said: "We are responding at the request of the coastguard and police to a report of a security incident. This is not a fire, escape of gas, anything like that. It's just precautionary measures being put in place."
It is understood the incident was sparked by comments made by a woman on the installation. Grampian Police is coordinating the operation but could not be reached for comment.
Oil company Britannia Operator Limited said reports were being investigated of an incident involving the "flotel" Safe Scandinavia, which is located on the Britannia Field, 210 kilometres north east of Aberdeen.
"The relevant emergency authorities have been alerted and a company response team is assisting in the coordination of support services," it said in a statement. The company is doing everything possible to resolve the situation and to confirm details of the incident."
The helicopter rescue was being coordinated by a Nimrod aircraft.
Source: UK MSN News