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When helicopters are unable to fly

Oilfield Technology,

Reflex Marine, a company dedicated to the transfer of personnel to and from offshore installations and vessels, has experienced a significant upturn in activity following the grounding of several helicopter flights to North Sea oil and gas platforms in the wake of the Iceland volcano.

Disruption has impact on the industry
The continuing disruption to aviation services in Europe is having a major impact on offshore operators. Over the past few days, Reflex Marine has received numerous enquiries from operators trying to plan contingencies to move crews by vessel, in order to keep their operations going.

The company, based in Aberdeen and Truro, Cornwall, supplies the Frog and Toro personnel transfer devices, which are used to move people from offshore installations to supply vessels by means of a crane. Philip Strong, Reflex Marine CEO said,  ‘We tend to face these surges in demand from time to time, more commonly due to prolonged periods of fog, but never on such a scale as this.’

Marine alternatives
Mr Strong will highlight the issue of marine personnel transfer as a speaker at the North Sea Offshore Cranes & Lifting Conference, which runs from 27 – 29 April at the Aberdeen Exhibition and Conference Centre. In a paper entitled ‘The Growing Role of Marine Personnel Transfer’ he will address emergency preparation and in particular evacuation contingencies.

‘The current period of aviation shut downs will no doubt lead to reflection across the oil and gas industry, with people asking the question: ‘What options do we have for safe and controlled evacuations when helicopters are unable to fly?’

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