Bond Offshore Helicopters confirmed Friday that it has flown 75 offshore workers that were stranded on the Ensco 80 rig since Monday, safely back to Norwich Airport. Ensco 80 (225' ILC) is a gas rig, operating 100 miles off the Norfolk coast, in the North Sea.
A spokesperson representing Bond told Rigzone in an interview that the helicopter - G-PERA - used for shuttling workers to and from Ensco 80, broke down Monday due to a technical failure. The spokesperson also acknowledged that there were 94 workers on the rig at that time; most of whom were stranded until Thursday evening.
"The rig could only accommodate one aircraft, so sending in a replacement aircraft was not an option. Engineers and the needed replacement part had to be flown in. As such, repair works took some time," the spokesperson said.
Rig owner Ensco admitted that the number of people onboard the rig was over the capacity limit of 90, but the company also stated that it was operating under extenuating circumstances, and that it had enough lifeboats for 200 people.
G-PERA had its affected part replaced, and the aircraft was also safely flown back to Norwich Airport.
As of Friday, there were 19 workers left on Ensco 80. The workers are part of the normal operating crew that Ensco requires for its day-to-day running.
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