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Helicopter crash victim's brother renews calls for prosecution

Nolan Gable was among 16 men killed in a Super Puma operated by Bond Offshore

THE brother of a 2009 Super Puma helicopter crash victim spoke yesterday of his family’s “five years of heartache” and renewed his call for the flight operator to be prosecuted.

Norwich’s Nolan Goble was among 16 men who died when a Super Puma operated by Bond Offshore crashed into the sea off Aberdeenshire on April 1 2009.

Coroner Jacqueline Lake recorded a narrative verdict yesterday at an inquest into his death, saying he died of multiple injuries following a helicopter crash.

But no action is to be taken against Bond Offshore despite evidence that the tragedy was avoidable.

A fatal accident inquiry (FAI) held in Scotland earlier this year found that the tragedy might have been prevented if proper maintenance had been carried out.

But the Crown Office said the company would not be prosecuted as failings could not be proved beyond reasonable doubt.

An earlier Air Accidents Investigation Branch probe found that the aircraft suffered a “catastrophic failure” of its main rotor gearbox.

Outside the inquest, Bob Goble described his younger brother, who was employed by KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd, as an “amazing, fit young man.”

“They knew there was a problem with the helicopter and decided to fly anyway,” he said.

“In England you just wouldn’t see that kind of disregard for health and safety go unpunished but it seems the law is different in Scotland.

“Nothing has changed and there is nothing to stop this happening again.

“The families are talking to solicitors about what further we can do, but it feels like no might mean no.

“We have had five years of heartache and to get to this stage and still have nobody accepting responsibility is just postponing the agony.”

Solicitor advocate Tom Marshall, who represented relatives at the FAI, called for a full inquiry.

He said: “It’s an appalling state of affairs where 16 men can lose their lives while simply returning from work and yet no one has yet been prosecuted.”


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