06-07-13 Piper 25 Years on.

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  • 06-07-13 Piper 25 Years on.
  • Premier Icon swavis

    I remember the day it happened. I was 10 at the time and my dad was a director of a small power tools firm in Aberdeen when he got a call at about 5am asking if the firm stocked some sort of equipment as there’d been some sort of incident on a platform. Tv went straight on to see the horror unfolding. Truly terrible.
    I went to school with a girl who’s dad was on it and survived, one of the lucky ones.
    I’ll raise a glass later.

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac

    So i know there is some on this forum who will as with me be possibly slightly uncomfortably aware of todays date and some who are blissfully unaware.

    However 25 years ago today 167 men lost their lives in one of the biggest tragedies the oil industry has ever seen. At approximately 9.55pm on 06/07/1988 a sequence of events began which lead to an explosion and oil and gas fires that lead to the destruction of the Piper Alpha platform and the tragic loss of 167 lifes.

    I for one will be quietly reflecting on it this evening and raising a glass to those who lost their life on that tragic evening.

    Any of the rest of you have any plans?


    Original 106 are running their documentary on this at mid day today, its well worth a listen,
    we have come along way in the uk sector , we just need to keep pushing forward with this forever our reminder,

    I work all over the world on alsorts of rigs as you can imagine i see all sorts, safety really isnt a world wide thing – even with the same operator and big accidents still happen. Just this week had a call from angola , saipem rig capsized there.

    Im at a wedding in town tonight , there will be a drink raised to the good men.


    One on my instructors on the old rgit course in Dundee had jumped along with His best mate,he broke both legs, his buddy hit debris in the water. Terrible tragedy and as noted,the catalyst for the UK sector finally getting the finger out.


    I read the Cullen Reprt and wondered how much might have been different had an engineer written it.

    Some parts of Local Hero weren’t funny after.

    Premier Icon unknown

    Like many my age I knew people who grew up without fathers after that night. Fire In The Night is the most upsetting and compelling book I’ve ever read. I literally read it in one sitting. Should be on the history curriculum.


    I’m from the North East but not a rigger , I remember it like it was yesterday . Very sad for the families and communities involved. R.I.P to the 167 who passed away. 😥

    Premier Icon Bregante

    I was working in a factory producing buoyancy floats which are used on pipelines for the oil industry. The M.D was an ex rigger himself, as were many of the management. Like others have said above I remember it like it was yesterday. Very very sad.

    Premier Icon Northwind

    My uncle was on Claymore at the time, never went offshore again…

    Premier Icon Rusty Mac

    If anyone is interested the documentary Piper Alpha: Fire in the Night is set to be broadcast on BBC2 on Tuesday evening at 9pm.


    As a boy, I had a friend who lost his father in Piper

    When I left school I worked in the construction yard where it was built

    I was on Saltire for the 20 year anniversary with one of the survivors of piper

    Tonight, I am working on a rig in Norway, so my thoughts will be with all those lost their lives that night

    Premier Icon jamj1974

    Well worth remembering… I remember the coverage on the news and being in awe of the plight of these men doing such a vital but dangerous role.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout

    Cheers Rusty – I will watch that. Again, I remember it happening and the shock of it all, how so many died, and how no-one had sorted some (seemingly) basic safety stuff..


    I was reading an incident summary about 4 weeks ago. The industry had come on hugely but I wonder how many time bombs are out there with all the legacy equipment being run by marginal producers reopening wells, I am sure the Brent situation is a portent to this.


    Anyone remember the TV coverage at the time? There happened to be a cameraman on board called Paul Berriff filming a series called Rescue. Unfortunately I can’t find the piper alpha episode, but the rest of the series is on youtube here

    Anyway, I have a beer in hand to remember them.


    Piper episode here.


    Even though it was 25 years ago, there is still a huge potential for a similar thing on land or off shore in the petro chemical industry, as budgets for safety and training are cut all to increase profit.

    you only have to look to canada tonight at the oil freight train derailment and subsequent fire ball engulfing a town.

    Premier Icon bigjim

    watching the BBC2 program now, must be the most harrowing thing I’ve ever watched.


    An incredibly moving documentary. Very simply filmed and edited but powerful and sympathetic. Well done BBC.


    I watched the documentary too. Inspiring poise and courage from those men who survived and took part in the programme.

    It was one of the most harrowing things I’ve ever watched. Seeing that fireball burning for nearly two hours with people still alive inside should make people realise that North Sea oil and gas is not just a political football and governmental cash cow.

    The lack of recognition by successive governments for this fortuitous windfall that has bank rolled many of their follies is snide.

    We have a duty not to squander the resources themselves as well as the money generated.

    I remember the night this happened as well. I was 12 years old but nobody i know lost anybody that night.

    Once i started working in the oil & gas industry i did meet a guy who used to work on Piper. He was on it 2 days before she went. It messed up his head and he was unable to go offshore again. He lost a lot of friends that night.

    I have been on the Piper B platform and from there you can see a buoy floating in the water where Piper Alpha once was.

    RIP to all who lost their lives.

    Premier Icon martinhutch

    Such a harrowing documentary to watch. Seeing the lads who were there still tearing up as they talk about it brings home the enormity of it.


    Powerful and very moving, the re-anactments were done with huge consideration and gave context rather than just to add gratuitous drama. A tragedy on an epic scale.

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