Welcome to the new Independent website. We hope you enjoy it and we value your feedback. Please contact us here.


The Shetland Oil Disaster: Sightings of tanker denied by operators

B & H SHIP Management, the Braer's operators, last night denied reports from a trawler skipper who said his crew saw an oil tanker - thought to be the Braer - close to the position where it broke down more than five hours before an emergency signal was sent out, writes Steve Boggan.

The suggestion, that it had been adrift for hours before seeking assistance, was rejected by B & H after examining the ship's log. That showed that at 0040 hours on the day it lost its engines, the Braer was crossing the GMT line, zero degrees longitude, exactly where it should have been and not where it was supposed to have been sighted.

The company also denied reports in the Scandinavian press suggesting that B & H would make a profit from the insurance expected to be paid out.

Michael Hudner, its chief executive, said that after outstanding mortgage payments and expenses were taken into account, the loss to the company would be about dollars 2.8m ( pounds 1.8m).