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SBS In OIL RIG ALERT

10.02.2008

Sky News has reported that the UK Special Forces unit, the Special Boat Service has been placed on alert in response to a major security alert on a North Sea oil rig.

500+ personnel were evacuated from a large accommodation, Flotel Safe Scandina, following a security alert caused by 'verbal threats' made by a young woman. A fleet of helicopters, including those from RAF search and rescue squadrons, are ferrying the workers to nearby rigs. The unprecedented evacuation operation is being coordinated by a Nimrod aircraft.

Reports have stated that a bomb disposal team has been dispatched to the platform. At the time of writing, no device has been reported to have been found.

One Sky News tv report mentioned that the SBS had been put on alert, or even dispatched to the platform. This may just be a bit of sensationalist speculation on behalf of Sky, as it's unlikely that the MOD would announce the deployment of Special Forces at this stage. It is, however, reasonable to suggest that the SBS would have been put on alert in such a case as this, even if just as a contingency. The SBS is known to specialize in maritime counter-terrorism, with a particular focus on protecting North Sea oil installations, and always has a team on immediate standby.

Further reading:
Woman is detained on oil platform
(BBC News Online Report)

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