Piper Alpha survivor in Caribbean

A FORMER oil rig worker from Hull who survived the Piper Alpha disaster in 1988 has started a major new business venture in the Grand Bahamas.

Les McCall – who still has family in Hull – has set up a blow-moulding plastic bottle manufacturing plant in the Caribbean country, where he has just won a contract to produce 16 million bottles a year for a company in the United States.

Although he has previously run similar enterprises in both the US and Australia, he turned to Hull and Humber Chamber of Commerce for help and advice in getting his project in the Bahamas off the ground.

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Pauline Wade, the chamber’s director of international trade, said: “Of course, we were only too happy to help.

“Through the International Department of the Chamber we introduced Mr McCall to the right people – the key decision makers in the region – and helped him open the right doors.”

The chamber also helped Mr McCall’s daughter, Zoe Graham, follow in his entrepreneurial footsteps by starting her own business in the Bahamas, with her own brand called Vitababe – and she has now become her father’s business partner.

With an ample supply of rain water in the Bahamas, a system has been developed to capture the rain water and purify it.

The water is then used to create a range of Bahamas Rain water products which are available in a variety of flavours.

Ms Graham is bottling her women’s only brand, which specialises in vitamin-enriched waters to address particular times in a woman’s life, such as pregnancy, or the menopause.

The chamber said Mr McCall has a huge range of products that he is manufacturing in the Bahamas, drawing on his history in the bottling and beverage industry.

The chamber offers help in setting up businesses abroad and support with import and export documents.