A sea bed rescue has been launched by Shell after a large container plunged into the North Sea from its Brent Alpha platform.
The container is still to be retrieved, but has been placed on the sea bed at a depth of 140 metres by personnel after the Normand Subsea Dive Support Vessel (DSV) was brought in to retrieve it.
Staff had been evacuated after a mechanical failure meant the container, which fell from a crane and plunged into the water on Sunday, was left approximately 20 feet below the surface.
It arrived on scene at 1am today and the process took around seven hours to complete before it was left safely resting on the sea bed.
The container had initially rested dangerously close to a mass of subsea pipelines which connect into the Far North Liquids & Associated Gas System (Flags) pipeline.
A shell spokeswoman said around 30 staff members had remained on the platform to help support the recovery operation while other staffs were evacuated as a precaution.
She said: “Following the incident which occurred on Shell’s Brent Alpha platform involving the mechanical failure of a crane while transferring a container unit to a support vessel on Sunday 28 September 2014, the container was placed in a safe area on the sea bed shortly before 0800hrs on Tuesday 30 September 2014.
“The operation to move the container to the sea bed, at a depth of 140 metres, was carried out by personnel on board the Normand Subsea Dive Support Vessel (DSV), which arrived on scene at approximately 0100hrs on 30 September. The container will be safely recovered in due course.
“Maintenance activities on the Brent Alpha and Bravo platforms will now be resumed. Production from the FLAGS pipeline is also being returned to normal.
“The Health and Safety Executive and Maritime and Coastguard Agency have been updated.”
The Brent Alpha platform is located 115 miles North East of Lerwick.