Summer job at KiellandAlexander L Kielland – Norway’s worst-ever industrial accident

William Graham about the accident

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British Bill Graham worked on the Edda platform and lived on Kielland. Listen to an audio recording of him recollecting the accident.
Written by Norsk Oljemuseum
- Bill Graham’s audio tape

William “Bill” Graham was one of the British survivors of the Alexander L. Kielland accident. He passed away recently, but the Documentation Project was able to make contact with his family. His daughter, Claire, lives in Australia with her two girls Sofia and Johanna (aged 11 and 9). In the summer of 2023, they and Bill’s widow Catherine took part in the first Kielland gathering to involve British survivors as well. They had brought with them audiotapes where Bill had recorded his experiences on the day of the accident.  

In connection to the Kielland gathering, Stavanger Aftenblad wrote an article about two families and their relation to the loss of their father. One of the families interviewed is the Graham family. 

Bill was a mechanical engineer employed at Grootcon. He was working on the Edda platform and lived on Kielland. On the day of the accident, they were radioed that the gangway between the two platforms were to be removed at 17:45, which was a common occurrence during bad weather. Everyone who lived on Kielland, had to leave Edda. Bill went over, got some food and took a seat in the cinema. That was where he was when the rig started to capsize. In the audio recording, he can tell us what happened to several of his colleagues during the accident. 

Kian Reme was one of the bereaved who discovered new information from Bill’s recordings. Kian’s brother, Rolf was lost in the accident and his body was never recovered. In his tape, Bill claims that the seat he had intended to sit in was taken. It was taken by Rolf Reme, who had just went out for some coffee. Kian then discovered the whereabouts of his brother, almost 45 years after the accident. He now knew that Rolf most likely was grabbing a cup of coffee and watching a western when the rig was capsizing. 

 

Bill was also interrogated by the Norwegian Police at Stavanger Hospital the day following the accident. Notes from the interrogation can be read in the Digital Archives here: 

Skanna materiale: Sjøfartsdirektoratet med forløpere, generelt arkiv, RA/S-1407/D/Ds/Dsb/L0635: Flyttbare innretninger, 1975-1985 – Skanna arkiver – Arkivverket (digitalarkivet.no) 

 

Listen to the audio recording of Bill Graham here:

Footnotes

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