Yacht drifts near North Sea platform. Rescue operation in progress

A rescue operation has been initiated to take control of a yacht drifting towards a natural gas platform in the North Sea, some 440 km to the Northeast of Aberdeen.

According to the Scottish Television website STV.TV, the owner of the Harrier of Down yacht, sent a distress call Tuesday night saying he had lost steering due to a mechanical failure. BBC writes that, at one point, the 25-foot yacht drifted within half a mile from Total’s Alwyn North platform Wednesday morning.

The yachtsman reportedly refused to be airlifted by a Norwegian helicopter, as he did not want to abandon his vessel. The man, believed to be a British national, had reportedly been en route from Lerwick to Norway when his yacht was struck by harsh weather conditions, BBC says.

BBC writes that a Norwegian coast guard vessel has been dispatched to the location, and will tow the yacht to Norway.

“Weather conditions are making it difficult to tow the vessel although it’s hoped to tow the yacht to Bergen, but it’s understood the man is in no immediate danger,” the UK Coast Guard wrote in a post on Facebook.

As for the offshore platform, BBC says that the workers, 162 of them, were put on muster, with helicopters on stand-by, ready to evacuate should there be a need.

Offshore Energy Today has reached out to Total E&P UK seeking more info. We will update the article should we get a response.

Update: October 7, 2015; 11:52 CET

In an e-mail to Offshore Energy Today, a spokesperson for Total said: “Last night a small yacht was reported to be drifting within a half mile of Total’s North Alwyn platform. The coastguard and the North Alywn’s Emergency Response Vessel (ERV) offered support to the yacht. At all times the situation was closely monitored and under control by both the coastguard and the ERV. 

When asked if plans were made to evacuate the crew from the platform, the spokesperson said: “The North Alwyn platform did not go to muster and no plans were made for evacuation.”

Offshore Energy Today Staff

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