Also in the news / Wreath laid, Sandwick PO reopens, climate week to start on Saturday and more…

A PRIVATE wreath laying ceremony was held in Sumburgh recently to mark the 40th anniversary of the tragic loss of six men who died while carrying out a flight to provide urgent support to an injured man.

Captain Alistair Mackie, Captain Robin Rusk, winch operator Stan Ormiston, winchman Robert Marfleet, Dr Alan Farquharson and medical assistant Jeff Hagen were all lost when their aircraft entered the sea on 14 September 1982.

Fully prepared for a winch rescue operation in difficult conditions, the helicopter was travelling from its base – a floating accommodation facility located in the Murchison field to the east of Shetland. During the journey however, the aircraft was lost from radio and visual contact.

Captain Martin Shepherd, who attended the wreath laying ceremony, said: “We will never forget the service of these six who gave their lives while striving to save others.

“Their courage and bravery in the commitment of going to the aid of someone who needed help will always be remembered and is a solemn reminder of how much serving others can cost.


“Our thoughts are with the families and friends of those who died for whom an anniversary can serve as a painful reminder of those lives so tragically cut short.”

The refurbish Sandwick post office. Photo: Post Office Ltd.

The SANDWICK Post Office has re-opened this week after major building work to modernise the Sandwick Baking Company shop.

The refit took two and a half months because of the scale of the project. The store has been completely transformed, with the shop decanting to the nearby Carnegie Hall during the work.

David Duff, the Post Office’s network provision lead, said the inside of the store has been fully modernised and additional work is now taking place on the exterior.

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“The store now looks very impressive. We apologise for any inconvenience caused to our customers during the work,” he added.

“The safety of our customers is of paramount, therefore, to allow for the building work to take place, it was necessary for the service to close temporarily.”

A SERIES of events including showcases, a film screening and an introduction to peatland restoration has been laid on to celebrate Shetland’s first ever climate week.

The nine days of local events, from Saturday until Monday 3 October, will explore ways of tackling climate change.

Chair of the council’s environment and transport committee Moraig Lyall said: “Shetland Climate Week will showcase the positive work already happening across Shetland and the many benefits of taking climate action.

“With winter ahead and the cost of living rising, taking action on climate change can help everyone to not only live more sustainably but also in some cases more affordably.”


Full details, with locations, times and dates, are now available here.

Green MSP for the Highlands and Islands Ariane Burgess.

HIGHLANDS and Islands Green MSP Ariane Burgess has highlighted that around 2,500 young people in Shetland have benefited from free bus travel since the start of the year.

The party’s flagship policy of allowing people under the age of 22 free access to public bus travel across the country came into force on 31 January.

“Free bus travel is helping hard-squeezed families and individuals at a time when household incomes are being stretched on so many fronts, especially as bus fares tend to be higher in rural areas. It is also reducing pollution and unnecessary car journeys,” Burgess said.

The scheme does not include journeys on inter island ferries though, something her SNP colleague Emma Roddick, also representing the Highlands and Islands, has campaigned on to get changed.


CLIMATE campaigners have vowed to stop the development of the Rosebank field to the west of Shetland, saying oil and gas production should be wound down rather than extended.

Meanwhile, work on developing Rosebank, which is estimated to hold 300 million barrels of oil equivalent, could get underway as soon as 2024 should Norwegian company Equinor and its partners make an investment decision.

However, market analysts Uplift said developing Rosebank would do nothing to boost national energy supplies, as most of its oil will be exported and not used domestically.

“By far the quickest and cheapest way to achieve energy security is to cut waste through a national rollout of home insulation, and an acceleration of homegrown renewable energy, which is now nine times cheaper than UK gas,” they said.

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