Orderly evacuation

December 16, 1998, 00:00 CET

The mood was calm when 114 of the 221 crew on Statoil's Statfjord B platform in the North Sea were evacuated around 22.30 yesterday.

They were transferred to Statfjord C further north because a supply ship was adrift in the area. Personnel began being flown back to the B installation around 00.30 today, and everyone had returned by 02.00.

"The evacuation proceeded in an orderly and controlled manner with the aid of the search and rescue helicopter stationed here," explained B platform manager Lars Erik Mandelid.

"Our emergency response arrangements functioned as intended, and the supply ship was never closer than 2.2 nautical miles."

Viking Sentinel drifted across from the UK sector of the North Sea after running into steering problems. There was never any real danger of collision between ship and platform, but the evacuation was initiated as a precautionary measure.