Page last updated at 09:29 GMT, Sunday, 5 April 2009 10:29 UK

Four more crash bodies identified

Vernon Elrick Brian Barkley and James Edwards
Police formally identified the bodies of Mr Elrick, Mr Barkley and Mr Edwards

All eight bodies recovered after the North Sea helicopter crash that killed 16 men have now been identified, Grampian Police said.

The force said on Saturday night that the families of Brian Barkley, James Edwards and Vernon Elrick had been told their bodies had been identified.

The last remaining body is thought to be Mihails Zuravskis.

A second salvage ship has been sent to the scene of the crash to help recover the wreckage and flight recorder.

Mr Barkley, 30, of Aberdeen, Mr Edwards, 33, of Liverpool, Mr Elrick, 41, of Aberdeen and Mr Zuravskis, 39, from Latvia, all worked for drilling contractor KCA Deutag.

The bodies of Raymond Doyle, Nairn Ferrier, Warren Mitchell and Stuart Wood were identified on Friday night and their families informed.

'Anxiety remains'

It is thought the bodies of the other eight men on board the Super Puma helicopter when it crashed on Wednesday are still in the fuselage.

The initial search for them was stood down after emergency services concluded there was no hope of finding any survivors, but attempts are being made to recover the wreckage and the bodies.

The salvage ship Bibby Topaz, which left Peterhead on Saturday afternoon, will try to recover the helicopter and its combined cockpit voice and flight data recorder.

Another vessel, the Vigilant, which had been at the crash site since Friday morning, has returned to Peterhead.

Top row: Raymond Doyle (left), and Nairn Ferrier (right). Bottom row: Warren Mitchell (left) and Stuart Wood (right)
The first four bodies were formally identified by Grampian Police on Friday night

Assistant Chief Constable Colin Menzies said: "Whilst the positive identification brings some peace of mind to those families notified, we are mindful that there are still eight other families where uncertainty and anxiety remains.

"It remains an absolute priority of Grampian Police and those we are working with to support all the families at this difficult time."

The aircraft was returning from BP's Miller oil platform when it crashed about 15 miles off Peterhead at about 1400 BST on Wednesday.

Mr Doyle, 57, from Cumbernauld, and Mr Ferrier, 40, from Dundee, also worked for KCA Deutag.

Mr Wood, 27, from Aberdeen, was an employee of Expro North Sea and Mr Mitchell, 38, of Oldmeldrum, Aberdeenshire, worked for Weatherford UK.

Nairn Ferrier
He was a real family man and lived life to its full
Katherine Ferrier
Victim's wife

Among the other men who died were four other KCA Deutag employees - Nolan Carl Goble, 34, of Norwich; Gareth Hughes, 53, of Angus; David Rae, 63, of Dumfries and Leslie Taylor, 41, of Kintore, Aberdeenshire.

James Costello, 24, from Aberdeen, who worked for contractor PSN, and Alex Dallas, 62, also from Aberdeen, who was employed by Sparrow Offshores Services, also died.

The pilots were named as captain Paul Burnham, 31, of Methlick in Aberdeenshire, and co-pilot Richard Menzies, 24, of Droitwich Spa in Worcestershire. They worked for Bond Offshore Helicopters.

'Shock and sadness'

Investigations are continuing into why the crash happened. The Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) has been trying to salvage the wreckage and recover the black box flight data recorder.

A spokesperson said: "This is a complicated investigation which is drawing on expertise from different sectors and several agencies will continue working together."

SUPER PUMA AS 332L
Super Puma
Four-bladed helicopter used primarily by offshore oil firms
Capacity: Up to 25 passengers
Crew: 2
Max. speed: 278 km/h (172.7mph)
Range: 776 km (482 miles)

KCA Deutag will open a Humanitarian Assistance Centre in Aberdeen on Monday, in light of the "huge, continuing emotional impact" of the helicopter tragedy.

KCA Deutag chief executive officer Holger Temmen said: "A disaster such as this is always a shock but in this case the shock and sadness is so much closer to home.

"I extend my deepest condolences to the families and friends of all those who lost their lives. Our thoughts continue to be with them through this difficult time."

First Minister Alex Salmond signed a book of condolence in the Kirk of St Nicholas in Aberdeen.

Dundee City Council opened a book in memory of Mr Ferrier, whose family described him as a "doting dad and a devoted husband".

His wife, Katherine, said: ''Nairn was just so popular, outgoing and laid back.

"He was a real family man and lived life to its full.

"When he was home from the rigs he would spend all of his time with our two boys Rory, six, and Nairn junior, three."

Bond Offshore Helicopters said they had resumed some flights. The company had suspended flights to allow its staff to come to terms with the tragedy.



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