Dangerous gusts from the forthcoming Storm Caroline are leading to the removal of workers from a North Sea platform.
Canadian Natural Resources (CNR) International has made the decision amid Met Office warnings that potentially life-threatening weather could batter the structure and risk the safety of its employees.
The Ninian South platform sits around 240 miles off the coast of Aberdeen.
CNR International has confirmed that 69 of the 159 workers aboard the platform will be leaving as a precautionary measure before the storm hits.
A spokeswoman for the company says: “CNR International (UK) Limited advises that, due to an adverse weather forecast during the coming days, it has commenced a precautionary down-man of non-essential personnel from its Ninian Southern platform.
“This is in accordance with existing procedures developed to safely manage the structural integrity of the Ninian Southern jacket.”
The Met Office has issued an amber warning for Northern Scotland throughout Thursday, December 7.
According to the weather organisation’s website, amber means “you need to be prepared to change your plans and protect you, your family and community from the impacts of the severe weather”.
A yellow “be aware” warning is in place for the rest of the Highlands, and is expected to remain until at least 6.00pm on Saturday, December 9.
Although snow storms and “blizzard conditions” are being predicted by the Met Office, huge waves caused by Storm Caroline’s high winds are said to be a specific area of concern for CNR International.
In preparation for potential damage, the company says it has been carrying out “remedial work” on the platform’s jacket structure.
The firm says it is conducting ongoing “assurance activities” to make sure the viability of the structure remains intact.
“The safety of the personnel on board the platform is of paramount importance for the company.”
A total of 90 staff will remain on the platform to cover essential duties.
Reference: BBC News
Date Published: December 7, 2017
Author: Jackie Kingsley