North Sea workers to return to mainland after partial evacuation of rig

A North Sea drilling contractor has said staff evacuated from a rig after several of its anchors came loose during Storm Babet are being sent home following the incident.

Forty five non-essential staff working aboard the Stena Spey were airlifted to other sites on Saturday after four out of eight anchors became detached due to the severe weather.

They were flown to neighbouring platforms and Sumburgh in the Shetland Isles, while another 44 employees stayed behind to man the rig, which is located 146 miles east of Aberdeen.

Stena Drilling has now said the 45 staff airlifted off the platform are being sent to Aberdeen then home as work gets under way to stabilise the rig at sea.

A spokesperson said: “Plans are in place to return all 45 personnel to Aberdeen today. The incident was due to the severe weather encountered from Storm Babet.

“The remaining 44 personnel who remain onboard the Stena Spey are safe and well.

“All relatives of those involved have been informed.

“Several anchor handling vessels will travel to the location throughout the next 24 hours to begin attaching tow lines to the drilling unit.

“The Stena Spey is safe and the well remains secure.”