B. J. Collins 1958 -2002  

Ulsterman dies in speedboat horror abroad

By Michael McHugh

AN Ulsterman working in Iran has died after being struck by a speed boat.

Brian James Collins died from a swimming accident off Kish Island in the Persian Gulf near Dubai.

The 44-year-old from Lisburn was working as a drilling co-ordinator on an oil rig at the time of his death.

The Iranian island, ten miles off the coast of the mainland, had been his home for the past two years.

He worked five-week periods on the island, known as the pearl of the Persian Gulf, before spending another five weeks with his family in Ulster.

Mr Collins, who has experience working in similar rigs in Canada and Scotland, had flown back early after spending Christmas with his wife and two sons, aged eight and four, in Lisburn.

The family runs the Niagara restaurant chain, the oldest fish and chip shops in Lisburn.

Mr Collins was swimming with another man, who managed to dive out of the way of the boat, which was being piloted by two young people.

The family were informed of the tragedy on New Year's Eve and Mr Collins' body is expected home on Sunday or Monday.

The funeral service will take place at Railway Street Presbyterian Church in Lisburn.

Local minister the Rev Brian Gibson will be conducting the service.