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15th Anniversary Remembrance Service 

17th July 2017
helicopter crash victims 2002
Yarmouth helicopter crash victims. L-R: David Graves, Geoffrey Bispham, Douglas Learwood, Philip Mark Wake, David Graves, Kevin Taylor, Philip Dearden, Philip Stone and Angus McArthur. Photo: Archant Library

The remembrance service was held to honour those who lost their lives on Tuesday, 16th July 2002 after a catastrophic engine failure causing their helicopter to crash into the sea with the loss of the lives of all those on board:


Stewart COGGON from Middlesbrough
Draughtsman with AMEC Offshore Development

Philip George STONE from Norwich
Senior Engineer with AMEC Offshore Development

Kevin John TAYLOR from Norwich
Technician with AMEC Offshore Development

Dennis Andrew KELLEHER from Lancashire
Medic with Oilfield |Medical Services

Angus MacARTHUR from Dingwall
Surveyor with Hi-Cad Technical

Geoffrey BISHPHAM from Norfolk
Operations Supervisor with Shell Expro

David Christopher GRAVES from Suffolk
Operations Technician with Shell Expro

Douglas Paul LEARWOOD from Middlesbrough
Instrument Technician with Shell Expro

Paul Leo FRANCIS from Norfolk
Technician with Industrial Controls

Philip Mark WAKE from Norwich
Captain with Bristow Helicopters Ltd

Philip James DEARDEN from Norwich
Frist Officer with Bristow Helicopters Ltd

 memorial porch
The names of the eleven who died in the helicopter crash in 2002 on the ceiling of the memorial porch at St Nicholas Minster, Great Yarmouth. Picture: DENISE BRADLEY

On July 16 2002 a Sikorsky 76 helicopter plunged 400ft into the sea killing the two crewmen and nine oil platform workers on board after its rotor blade snapped off

The service was attended by 40 people and saw candles lit for each of the men that died as their names were read out

helicopter crash memorialThe service, held at St Nicholas Minster in Great Yarmouth, was led by Port Chaplain, Rev Peter Paine, and Team Vicar, Rev Jemma Sander-Heys; and jpined by the Mayor, Councillor Kerry Robinson-Payne, and the Leader of the Council, Councilor Graham Plant; and attended by 40 people

Rev Paine, who had been Port Chaplain for six months when the tragedy happened, said “The aircraft suffered a catastrophic mechanical failure and crashed into the sea with the loss of all”

Among those attending were representatives from the Coastguard, Caister lifeboat station and the police, the mayor of Great Yarmouth Kerry Robinson-Payne, Derek Ward, chairman of Norfolk County Council, as well as people who had worked with some of the men and a distant relative of one of them


Rev Jemma opend the service by welscoming those in attendance and Rev Peter gave the background of the tragedy, followed by the reading of the names of all those on board, as candles were lit for each one

light candle 01light candle 02


The leader of Great Yarmouth Borough Council, Graham Plant, also read out a poem which had been written after the disaster by some of the platform’s crew, part of which included the words “Honour us by speaking our names. Take us with you by thinking of us in the years to come"

The Mayor then laid a wreath with a period of silence following

Rev Peter said the service of remembrance will be repeated next year