Oil rig tragedy dad ‘was greatest friend’

Philip Westerman
Philip Westerman

An Aberdeenshire man killed in an offshore accident overseas has been described as “the greatest” friend, son, brother, husband and father.

Philip Westerman, from Ellon, died in an incident on a rig in the Congo, understood to be close to the city of Pointe-Noir, on Monday.

The 30-year-old worked with remotely operated vehicles for Fugro Subsea Services

The exact circumstances of his death have still to be revealed, however an investigation is now under way by the Congolese authorities.

Since his death, scores of people have paid tribute to the former Ellon Academy pupil, who had a young son with his wife, Candice.

Chris McLean wrote on Facebook: “Love you so much Philip, rest in peace. Taken from us all, you were my brother from another mother. We will all miss you as we have lost the best person ever from our lives. To the greatest friend, son, brother, husband and father, we will meet again. Love you.”

Cara Mia said: “Heaven has gained another angel and they couldn’t have asked for a more beautiful soul than you Philip Westerman love and light to you and your family.”

The Foreign Office has confirmed it has been in discussions with Fugro but has so far not been asked to assist the family.

Gordon MP Colin Clark said he had been in contact with the authorities.

He said: “Any loss of life is tragic, and we must wait to discover the circumstances around this particular incident.

“I have contacted the Foreign Office to be kept abreast of the situation. My thoughts are very much with this man’s family and work colleagues at what will be a very difficult time.”

Meanwhile, Fugro said it has sent over additional staff to assist with the probe into Mr Westerman’s death.

A spokesman said: “Next of kin has been informed and are being supported.

“Our thoughts with the family, friends and colleagues at this sad time.

“Additional Fugro personnel has been mobilised to assist with the investigation and we are fully co-operating with the local authorities.

“More information will be released when available.”