The “Gerda Saele”, the ferry “Hjaltland” with 201 passengers on board and the cargo vessel “Helliar” were involved in an SAR Operation after a Super Puma helicopter carrying 18 passengers crashed into the sea just as it was coming into land on the Shetland Isles. The incident happened on Aug 23, 2013, two miles west of Sumburgh airport, which is at the very southern tip of the main island. The aircraft was on approach to Sumburgh Airport at approximately 6.20 p.m. when contact was lost with air traffic control. The helicopter was upside down in the water when rescuers arrived. 15 people on board have been meanwhile rescued and were being treated in the Gilbert Bain Hospital in Lerwick. They were picked up by the Coastguard and carried to the Clickimin emergency landing site on the edge of Shetland’s capital. Five were discharged and nine detained overnight either for observation or suffering from exposure. The bodies of three people have been recovered and work was underway to recover the body of the fourth Person, which was in the wreckage of the aircraft. Apart from these three ships, a rescue helicopter based in Shetland, the RAF rescue helicopter from Lossiemouth and two Bond helicopters were sent to the scene along with the RNLI all-weather lifeboats from Aith and Lerwick. The helicopters and lifeboats on scene were continuing to search. A specialist medical team has being flown out from Aberdeen Royal Infirmary to Lerwick. Sumburgh Airport was closed to allow emergency services to deal with the ongoing incident. The helicopter’s life rafts were found empty and some wreckage from the aircraft has started to wash up at the southern end of Sumburgh, The helicoper wreckage was in a fairly inaccessible position near the cliffs. The search was being hampered by extremely poor visibility, reported to be down to less than 50 metres. The helicopter that crashed was a Eurocopter Super Puma AS332 L2 operated by CHC. It was taking people to and from the Borgsten Dolphin rig which is anchored about 50 miles east of Shetland’s northern tip. The UK Air Accidents Investigation Branch deployied a team to look into what happened. At a meeting of the Helicopter Safety Steering Group, offshore companies and unions agreed to suspend commercial flights by all models of Super Puma until at least Aug 28. The four people who died were working for Total through contractor organisations.





Live fish carrier involved in SAR operation after helicopter crash

By MarinersPlanet Posted in photos

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