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Winchester man dies in North Sea helicopter tragedy
11:54am Saturday 24th August 2013 in News
A WINCHESTER man is among those to have died in a helicopter tragedy in the North Sea, it has been revealed.
Police have named George Allison among the four people to have died when a helicopter carrying 18 people ditched in the sea following an apparent ''catastrophic loss of power''.
Mr Allison, 57, was a director and safety training specialist for engineering consultancy Rangefox, which he ran from his home in Francis Gardens, Abbotts Barton.
The Chronicle approached his family earlier this morning but they were too upset and declined to comment.
According to an online business profile, he has also worked as a project safety supervisor for Total Oil in the North Sea since August 2012.
He had more than 25 years experience in drilling and construction as well as marine salvage and rig repairs.
Mr Allison had also previously worked in Nigeria for Noble Drilling, providing health and safety training and maintaining morale.
He went to school in Cumbria, before attending Gateshead College in 2006 and BCS College in Nottingham in 2008.
Former colleagues appreciated his talent according to comments made on his LinkedIn profile prior to his death.
Ronnie Watt, senior health & safety advisor at Total, said he would recommend Mr Allison to any company.
He said: “George is a very enthusiastic individual with good strengths in all areas. George is an excellent team members and works well under pressure.”
Mike McMahon, drilling superintendent at Talisman Sinopec Energy, added: “George worked for me on the Total operated drilling rig 'Sedco 714' for approximately four years, in the role as offshore safety advisor.
“I found George to be a true safety focused professional. He personally made the Sedco 714 a safer place to work by rigorously enforcing a 'safety culture' and a 'door is always open' attitude.”
The other three victims have been named as Duncan Munro, 46, from Bishop Auckland; Sarah Darnley, 45, from Elgin and 59-year-old Gary McCrossan, from Inverness.
The Super Puma L2 aircraft went down at 6.20pm last night, around two miles west of Sumburgh airport on Shetland as it was returning to the island from the Borgsten Dolphin platform in the North Sea.
Fourteen of the 18 people on board the helicopter were taken to safety during the immediate rescue response.
A major search operation, involving the coastguard, police, RAF and RNLI, was extended overnight to hunt in the darkness for those who remained missing.
This morning, Police Scotland confirmed the bodies of three people have been recovered.
A fourth person remains unaccounted for, a spokeswoman added.
The families of those affected have been informed.
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