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For those in peril...

After the amazing rescue from a helicopter crash in the North Sea, not three weeks ago, now there is grimmer news.

Another Puma has gone down, about 35 miles of Crimond. This time I don't think we can hope for survivors.

When accidents like this happen it is a harsh reminder of just how dangerous life on the North Sea rigs can be. Yet, the fact is that there is not 100% safety- and there can not be. Maybe anything worth doing carries a risk.

I am often mildly astonished at how matter-of-fact the North Sea workers are about taking on the risks that they do, yet in the end I suppose that the risks of death are only mildly higher compared to life as a whole, which itself does have a 100% fatality rate.

I had a friend who came off Piper Alpha two days before the explosion that wrecked the rig and killed 167 men. Even though he had special leave- he was getting married- he remained unemotional about his escape, while lamenting the deaths of his friends. As he said, another friend had been killed on the A94 the previous year- and you never knew what you might get in this life.

Even still, I know from sad experience that there will be a shiver down many a spine in Aberdeen tonight and much sad and subdued discussion in the pubs and bars.

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