NE Scotland, Orkney & Shetland

Search for man missing from Noble Lloyd Noble drilling rig scaled back

Noble Lloyd Noble Image copyright Statoil
Image caption Noble Lloyd Noble is one of the world's largest jack-up rigs

An air and sea search for a man reported missing from a drilling rig in the North Sea has been scaled back.

The 49-year-old had been working on the Noble Lloyd Noble installation, in the Mariner Field, approximately 90 miles (150km) east of Shetland.

The alarm was raised at about 21:20 on Tuesday after a search of the rig failed to locate him.

A Coastguard search and rescue helicopter was called out but later returned to base.

Two standby vessels and a platform supply vessel were continuing to search.

The man is believed to be from the Aberdeen area.

Police Scotland said a team of officers had flown offshore to carry out inquiries and assist on the installation.

Det Insp Norman Stevenson, who is leading the team, said: "An extensive search has been carried out which has involved a search and rescue helicopter as well as standby vessels and a platform supply vessel.

"The next of kin of the man have been informed of the ongoing inquiries and further information will be made available to the public when we have it. There are no apparent suspicious circumstances."

Noble Lloyd Noble is one of the world's largest jack-up rigs, an installation with long support legs that can be lowered to the sea floor.

In a statement, Noble Drilling said they had mobilised emergency response teams in Aberdeen and Stavanger to support the search effort.

The company said: "Statoil vessels have been involved in an extensive search of the water surrounding the rig and together we will continue to do everything we can to support the ongoing search effort.

"Our priorities are the safety of all the personnel on board, assisting in the search operation for the missing person and supporting next of kin and colleagues of the missing person.

"All operations have been stood down on the rig."

Statoil is developing the Mariner field with the first oil expected in 2018.

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