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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed Salter
I would thoroughly recommend this book to any manager, supervisor or HSE professional working in offshore oil and gas anywhere in the world. There's little better than learning lessons from the past. It is a very moving read and you'd have to be cold as ice to not feel something for those guys trapped, trying to survive and escape from the fires. This is not a book to be...
Published on 27 May 2009 by Dr. Edward R. Salter

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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fire In The Night for Kindle
Packed With Information, but sometimes difficult to follow who's who as it's written like a continuous stream of action with little attempt to discuss,evaluate or put in perspective. Someone else has mentioned the acronyms - they do get a bit annoying I'm afraid, even if they are necessary. Nevertheless, a full account of events which someone needed to tell.

I...
Published 15 months ago by Kerry


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13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Ed Salter, 27 May 2009
By 
Dr. Edward R. Salter (UK) - See all my reviews
(REAL NAME)   
I would thoroughly recommend this book to any manager, supervisor or HSE professional working in offshore oil and gas anywhere in the world. There's little better than learning lessons from the past. It is a very moving read and you'd have to be cold as ice to not feel something for those guys trapped, trying to survive and escape from the fires. This is not a book to be bought for enjoyment. It is a book to read to understand why, and I think Stephen McGinty does an excellent job at presenting the event to the reader, as if he was there. I could feel the heat from the pages, the fears of the men and the sadness of the families. A terrible tragedy and a very good book.
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5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars A very informative book, 10 Dec. 2010
This is a very well researched account of the Piper Alpha disaster. The amount of detail is impressive. The book provides a frank yet sensitive account of an awful disaster.
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3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars supreme!, 3 Aug. 2013
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This review is from: Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster (Kindle Edition)
This book vividly brings to life the horrors of what really happened on the night of July 6. It is written with passion and brilliance. It is quite simply, a masterpiece. The author is to be congratulated on providing us with such an epic account of what happened that night.

Simply wonderful!
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars This book is as near to hell on earth as anyone could imagine, 23 Nov. 2013
By 
William J. Whalley (Monifieth Scotland) - See all my reviews
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A superb well written first hand account of the events leading up to & following the initial explosion on Piper Alpha its astonishing that O I Ms on platforms close by who could clearly see a disaster unfolding in the distance did not have the balls to shut down production & stop pumping crude to the doomed Rig This horrific incident is brought to you chapter & verse of how bad it actually was on the night & the crews heroic fight for survival GOD REST ALL WHO LOST THEIR LIVES
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
3.0 out of 5 stars Fire In The Night for Kindle, 15 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster (Kindle Edition)
Packed With Information, but sometimes difficult to follow who's who as it's written like a continuous stream of action with little attempt to discuss,evaluate or put in perspective. Someone else has mentioned the acronyms - they do get a bit annoying I'm afraid, even if they are necessary. Nevertheless, a full account of events which someone needed to tell.

I assume it's a problem with the Kindle transfer - many of the words run the last letter of the previous word into the next. I'm afraid I may be a bit picky, but I find printing errors to be unforgiveable. It's not the author's fault, and it is something which can be so easily avoided, surely.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Gripping Read, 7 Dec. 2013
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This review is from: Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster (Kindle Edition)
I couldn't put this book down. Having worked myself on the Rigs / Platforms since 1990 I can only imagine what hell these poor lads had to endure, heartbreaking. How this kind of tragedy hasn't happened again is beyond me.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the Night, account of a turning point., 31 Oct. 2013
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This review is from: Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster (Kindle Edition)
Fire in the Night: The Piper Alpha Disaster

This Kindle edition of a well-reviewed and important journalistic account of the Piper Alpha disaster, has one irritating flaw in that it reads as if it has not been proof-read at all well. However, this reviewer knows of a possible technical explanation for this, and it is only an irritation. The book itself is largely well-researched and should be read by anyone interested in oil rig safety and the liability of oil companies. Especially if they are involved in commentary upon, or even litigation regarding the more recent Deepwater Horizon disaster.

Firstly, the proof-reading issue is simply because some word processors, particularly MS Word, can produce character and even word-shifted results when the word processor source file reads perfectly sensibly on screen and proof-reads perfectly well when printed as a conventional book. This is due to the sometimes unaddressed need to have a "clean" file which has had ALL auto-correction and auto-formatting (especially of paragraph styles) expunged from it, and for auto-correction and auto-formatting to be turned OFF completely all the while the file is being edited into a Kindle edition. Even when the author or his publisher is editing with a view to publishing on Amazon Kindle, the rival Smashwords Style Guide by Mark Coker (which is free) does give some useful tips on cleaning up the word processor file before you start and keeping it clean while you work, even though the subsequent details between the Smashwords and Kindle preparation process are different. This reviewer was plagued by similar troubles during the preparation of his own first e-book Pilgrim Process and recognizes the symptoms here. He only understood the causes because of the Smashwords guide, as the Kindle advice at the time did not emphasize this issue.

The occasional displaced character apart, Fire in the Night is an important work.

The opening chapters contain some of the most crucial information; the initial explosion disabled the control room, for example, making it impossible to take effective damage control measures or even communicate evacuation instructions to the crew before fires developed to bar access to lifeboats. The control room becoming the first major casualty is common to both the Piper Alpha and Deepwater Horizon disasters (though by different failure mechanisms) and though the book does not labour this, it's an important thing for readers to remember.

Stephen McGinty does a good job, not just of telling the story of the men who worked on Piper Alpha, but of the artist, Sue Jane Taylor, who documented their work about a year before the disaster, and who subsequently created the memorial to the 167 men who died. (The number of fallen is the starkest difference between the Piper Alpha and Deepwater Horizon disasters.)

To begin with, the author concentrates on the men, especially divers, who managed to survive, but he does later describe how many men died, and this is not a book for those wanting comforting bedtime reading. It is, however essential reading for anyone offering strong opinions on oil rig safety, whether in public or in a Louisiana courtroom.

Important details are not flagged up and laboured: they are there for the reader to absorb as he reads the whole narrative. So it's hard to cherry pick "crucial" details from an intricately interwoven situation of cause and effect, and that's a good thing.

But the non-survivability of the control room, and Lord Cullen's recommendation that rigs should have a much more survivable short-term refuge for the crew, are details of great importance which need to be hammered home.

Stephen McGinty writes in slightly dismissive and cynical terms of the UK government's attempts, before the Piper Alpha disaster, of attempting to learn lessons from safety failings rather than punishing people and corporations for them. But this is the approach which has transformed aviation safety over the past few decades, for the military as well as civil aviation. The reviewer has been told by a very experienced oil industry figure, that the Piper Alpha disaster was a turning point, not where the "learning lessons" principle was abandoned or adopted, but the point at which it started being taken seriously and started to work. In the North Sea, at least.

In the reviewer's personal opinion, the approach taken by US authorities and countless lawfirms over the Deepwater Horizon disaster, reverses the principle of learning lessons and thereby threatens to reverse all the progress made towards safety since Piper Alpha. Therefore, Stephen McGinty's account of the disaster which embedded the learning lessons principle in British policy, demands to be read by those intent on inflicting endless loss and torture on any person or company involved in the Deepwater Horizon tragedy who wasn't selfish enough to promptly shred all the evidence they had about how the disaster happened, instead of making it available to those trying to identify the lessons to be learned from the accident.

For all the anger directed at Occidental after the Piper Alpha tragedy, they did not attempt to destroy evidence, though they did attempt to buy up all of Sue Jane Taylor's artworks made on the rigs: this was an attempted manipulation of publicity rather than evidence.

The boot on the throat has transported us back to the day before Piper Alpha, and the thirty years of progress wasted by that is the greatest tragedy, and the greatest crime, of all.
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5.0 out of 5 stars this book has travelled the world with me, 8 Dec. 2011
This book has travelled the world with me. I bought it in Aberdeen when it was first published. It has been in my bag often, but until now has always returned to my bookshelf unread. Like many in Aberdeen my income comes primarily from the oil industry, albeit often on the periphery. I think I actually managed to read it this time, working away from home, not an uncommon occurrence, because, maybe, this time I am not working on an oil related project. I think that, up to now, I've been scared to read it even though many years ago I read Red Adair's biography which covered the putting out of the fires.

I think the book is incredibly well written, covering incredibly harrowing events. I have myself worked on an oil related project where things have not gone to plan, and have been scared witless. I can remember clearly making a conscious decision that my life was important, not so much for me, as for my family; and can also remember consciously deciding which action was safest. So, reading this book has made me oh so thankful, that I was so fortunate. But this tale is so so sad. Health and safety has a very bad name now, but maybe we need to think why things are the way they are. Safety must be paramount. Even now though, risk assessments equate lives to an almost arbitrary value; I think many people would be surprised just how little monetary value is assigned to a "mere" single life. 167 people lost their lives directly because of Piper Alpha. That number of course is not complete.

The cost of oil is incredibly cheap. Petrol and diesel, even with high taxes and duties still tend to be the cheapest liquids that can be purchased at a petrol station. Water and soft drinks do not cost lives to produce.
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2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fire in the night, 27 Jan. 2014
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Xmas present for my husband who was master of an oil rig in the north sea at the time. He finds it quite distressing but will read it through. It is well written and factually true.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars The disaster which touched so many people, 27 July 2013
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This is a well written account of what happened on that fateful night. Most people who live in Aberdeen (including myself) knew someone or of someone who suffered because of the negligence of all companies involved. Many employees did not have survival or safety training or certificates and none of the companies were charged. No amount of compensation can compensate for the horrors experienced that night or bring back a loved one.
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