One of the heroes of the Piper Alpha disaster has died of cancer at the age of 56.
Iain Letham was a coxswain on the vessel Zodiac, a rigid inflatable craft, which responded to the fire which engulfed the rig in 1988, causing the deaths of 167 men.
Without any regard for his own safety, Mr Letham braved the flames during the rescue mission to get to the devastated oil platform and helped save lives amidst the inferno.
He said of his experiences during the worst catastrophe in the history of the North Sea: “There was a big explosion and I was just conscious of ending up in the water. All my gear melted – my hardhat and lifejacket just melted.”
Mr Letham, originally from Muir of Ord in Easter Ross, was later awarded the George Medal – the highest civilian decoration for bravery – by the Queen at Buckingham Palace.
North-east MSP Lewis Macdonald paid tribute to Mr Letham.
He said: “There are men alive today who wouldn’t be without the heroism shown by Iain Letham.”
Mr Letham was being treated at the Forth Valley Royal Hospital in Larbert.