Kinghorn and Burntisland residents’ plea – ‘Silence rig buzz’

Lesley Weaver, with Roy Mackie from Kinghorn Community Council and Councillor  George Kay. Pic by  FPA
Lesley Weaver, with Roy Mackie from Kinghorn Community Council and Councillor George Kay. Pic by FPA

Residents in Kinghorn and Burntisland who have suffered weeks of disturbed sleep are hoping their nightmare will soon be over.

Dozens of people contacted their councillors complaining about the dull hum from an electricity generator serving an oil rig anchored half a mile off the coast of Burntisland.

People said they couldn’t get to sleep for the noise which they claimed came in waves, and was a lot worse when there was a westerly wind.

Councillor George Kay said he had received “an unprecedented number of complaints” about the noise and had contacted the local harbourmaster, Forth Ports and the rig operators, as well as a Fife Council environmental health officer about the problem on the Paragon MSS1 platform.

And this week he said he was pleased to report that the operators had agreed to install a muffler around the generator to reduce the noise.

Lesley Weaver (54), of Alexander III Street in Kinghorn, said: “It is like having an aeroplane right outside your window all the time and it comes in waves, getting louder then quieter again.

“It has been going on since the rig arrived in October, but it is a lot worse when the wind is blowing in from the west.”

Alison Smith, of Kinghorn Road, Burntisland, added: “It is a little like the sound of an expectant train that never arrives.

“Dull enough that day time background noise cancelled it out, but loud and incessant enough that it was all you could hear when in a quiet bedroom at night. I even wondered about moving to my spare north facing bedroom until it was resolved.”

She said she had contacted the rig operators who rerouted an exhaust to the generator and identified the need for additional work to construct baffles and/or a muffler around a generator.

Councillor Kay said: “The complaints have been coming in fast and furious from Pettycur Bay all the way to the Grange to the west of Burntisland.

“The problem started about two weeks ago when people started calling me about a noise going on all night.”

He added that, following discussions with the operators he had been told that a muffler had been ordered for the generator exhaust which would be fitted this week.

“I hope this will work and the residents of Burntisland and Kinghorn can sleep soundly in their beds.”

A spokesman for Forth Ports said the source of the noise was still to be confirmed.

“We have been in discussions with the rig owners who have designed a bespoke acoustic baffle which will be fitted shortly. They are confident this will reduce any noise from the vessel significantly.”