Brother of ex-City player dies in chopper crash

THE brother of a former Norwich City footballer has been named among the 16 oilrig workers who died in a helicopter crash off the Aberdeenshire coast.

THE brother of a former Norwich City footballer has been named among the 16 oilrig workers who died in a helicopter crash off the Aberdeenshire coast.

Nolan Goble, 34, who was raised in Wells and lived in Norwich, was killed when the Super Puma aircraft plunged into the North Sea about 14 miles from Peterhead.

Grampian Police last night named all but one of the victims travelling on the helicopter, which was flying back from the BP Miller platform in calm and sunny conditions on Wednesday afternoon.

Mr Goble, who worked for KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd, was the brother of former Canaries player Steve Goble, who made 35 appearances for the club between 1977 and 1981.

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His family were too upset to talk yesterday, but shocked townspeople in Wells spoke of their sadness that a popular figure, one of four brothers, had been lost in the accident.

Town councillor Joyce Trett said: “It is just terrible when you have got a family of four boys as close as they were.

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“They grew up with my children. I cannot imagine how difficult it is for the family, it is a horrendous loss of such a young life. All the local boys knew them and they were all hard-working lads. My heart goes out to the family.”

Last night, eight bodies had been recovered but police had given up hope of finding any survivors in what was now being treated as a recovery operation.

Twelve of the other victims were from north east Scotland, one from Liverpool and one from Worcestershire. The unnamed victim was believed to be from Latvia.

Grampian Police's assistant chief constable Colin Menzies described seeing the bodies being brought into Aberdeen harbour as “very sad”.

“What we know today is that despite the best efforts of everyone involved, no-one has been recovered alive from the waters of the North Sea.

“Here in the city and in the wider North East community people are facing up to the grim reality that all those on board have been lost.”

Experts from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) have travelled to the scene to determine the cause of the crash.

At a press conference yesterday in Aberdeen, BP's Bernard Looney said the oil firm had decided to temporarily discontinue operations with Bond Helicopters for the transport of its North Sea workers.

He said: “The decision was taken to allow what is a tight-knit team some time to recover from what is a tragic incident.”

Bill Munro, of Bond Helicopters, said: “We appreciate the action that BP has taken to allow us some time to absorb the loss of two pilots.”

The accident happened six weeks after 18 people survived the ditching of another Bond Super Puma in the North Sea as it approached a BP production platform.

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