North Sea plunge helicopter recovered

 

A helicopter which ditched in the North Sea has been returned to shore.

The Super Puma carrying 14 men came down 25 miles (40km) off the coast of Aberdeen shortly after midday yesterday.

All arrived safely back on land after air and sea rescues.

The helicopter has been handed to the Air Accidents Investigation Branch (AAIB) and they are expected to begin their inspection of the craft tomorrow.

Bond Aviation Group, which operated the helicopter, said it would continue its suspension of all EC225 helicopter flights while it investigates what happened.

They said the investigation will focus on the oil pressure warning light that instigated the water landing.

A spokesman said: "Bond Offshore Helicopters Ltd is committed to the safe operation of the company's entire fleet including the EC225, and for that reason flights can only recommence once they have completed a detailed analysis of the incident.

"At this time the G-REDW helicopter has been successfully recovered from the North Sea and is in the possession of the AAIB.

"It is anticipated that they will begin their inspection on May 12. Bond will actively assist the AAIB in all aspects of that investigation."

A major rescue operation was launched after the alarm was raised, with Coastguard and RAF helicopters called to the scene along with two lifeboats.

The 12 passengers and two crew members were recovered from the sea and put into life rafts.

Nine men were flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while the remaining five were taken to Aberdeen by lifeboat.

One man was kept at the hospital for observation.

The helicopter, operated by Bond Offshore, had been on its way from Aberdeen to the Maersk Resilient rig and the Ensco 102 rig.

The helicopter crew have been praised for their actions.

Ashley Roy, director of commercial services, said: "It's a difficult procedure and the pilot and co-pilot should be commended for their skill in executing this procedure. As a result of their skill, 12 passengers and the two crew themselves were unhurt and were able to return to their families."

The ditching was the latest in a series of incidents involving helicopters in the North Sea.

Sixteen people died when a Super Puma plunged into the sea when its gearbox failed while carrying the men to Aberdeen on April 1 2009.

The 14 passengers and two crew were returning from BP's Miller platform when it went down 11 miles (18km) north-east of Peterhead.

In February 2009, 18 people survived after a helicopter ditched in the North Sea.

The Bond Offshore Super Puma helicopter went down 125 miles (201km) east of Aberdeen at around 6.40pm on February 18.

Eighteen people were rescued with only minor injuries.

Speaking during a press conference in Aberdeen last night, Mr Roy said: "It is the third incident in three years; however, thousands of hours are flown offshore in helicopters every year. Bond itself conducts over 40,000 flying hours per annum."

He added: "Safety is our primary and first priority."

The AAIB said that it has launched an investigation and deployed a team.

Jim McAuslan, general secretary of pilots' union Balpa, praised the crew, saying it "looks like a terrific piece of airmanship from very skilled pilots".

He said: "It is not for us yet to comment on the cause of this incident. That is for the AAIB and we will await their findings."

PA

News
Susan Sarandon described David Bowie as
peopleSusan Sarandon reveals more on her David Bowie romance
Sport
Arsenal supporters gather for a recent ‘fan party’ in New Jersey
football
Sport
sportDidier Drogba returns to Chelsea on one-year deal
Arts and Entertainment
The Secret Cinema performance of Back to the Future has been cancelled again
film
PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Life and Style
Balmain's autumn/winter 2014 campaign, shot by Mario Sorrenti and featuring Binx Walton, Cara Delevingne, Jourdan Dunn, Ysaunny Brito, Issa Lish and Kayla Scott
fashionHow Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
Christian Grey cradles Ana in the Fifty Shades of Grey film
filmFifty Shades of Grey trailer provokes moral outrage in US
News
BBC broadcaster and presenter Evan Davis, who will be taking over from Jeremy Paxman on Newsnight
peopleForget Paxman - what will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Life and Style
fashionCustomer complained about the visibly protruding ribs
Voices
The new dawn heralded by George Osborne has yet to rise
voicesJames Moore: As the Tories rub their hands together, the average voter will be asking why they're not getting a piece of the action
Sport
Dejan Lovren celebrates scoring for Southampton although the goal was later credited to Adam Lallana
sport
News
newsComedy club forced to apologise as maggots eating a dead pigeon fall out of air-conditioning
Arts and Entertainment
Jo Brand says she's mellowed a lot
tvJo Brand says shows encourage people to laugh at the vulnerable
Life and Style
People may feel that they're procrastinating by watching TV in the evening
life
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Senior Risk Manager - Banking - London - £650

£600 - £650 per day: Orgtel: Conduct Risk Liaison Manager - Banking - London -...

Commercial Litigation Associate

Highly Attractive Package: Austen Lloyd: CITY - COMMERCIAL LITIGATION - GLOBAL...

Systems Manager - Dynamics AX

£65000 - £75000 per annum + Benefits: Progressive Recruitment: The client is a...

Service Delivery Manager (Software Development, Testing)

£40000 - £45000 per annum: Ashdown Group: A well-established software house ba...

Day In a Page

Evan Davis: The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing to take over at Newsnight

The BBC’s wolf in sheep’s clothing

What will Evan Davis be like on Newsnight?
Finding the names for America’s shame: What happens to the immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert?

Finding the names for America’s shame

The immigrants crossing the US-Mexico border without documents who never make it past the Arizona desert
Inside a church for Born Again Christians: Speaking to God in a Manchester multiplex

Inside a church for Born Again Christians

As Britain's Anglican church struggles to establish its modern identity, one branch of Christianity is booming
Rihanna, Kim Kardashian and me: How Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Olivier Rousteing is revitalising the house of Balmain

Parisian couturier Pierre Balmain made his name dressing the mid-century jet set. Today, Olivier Rousteing – heir to the house Pierre built – is celebrating their 21st-century equivalents. The result? Nothing short of Balmania
Cancer, cardiac arrest, HIV and homelessness - and he's only 39

Incredible survival story of David Tovey

Tovey went from cooking for the Queen to rifling through bins for his supper. His is a startling story of endurance against the odds – and of a social safety net failing at every turn
Backhanders, bribery and abuses of power have soared in China as economy surges

Bribery and abuses of power soar in China

The bribery is fuelled by the surge in China's economy but the rules of corruption are subtle and unspoken, finds Evan Osnos, as he learns the dark arts from a master
Commonwealth Games 2014: Highland terriers stole the show at the opening ceremony

Highland terriers steal the show at opening ceremony

Gillian Orr explores why a dog loved by film stars and presidents is finally having its day
German art world rocked as artists use renowned fat sculpture to distil schnapps

Brewing the fat from artwork angers widow of sculptor

Part of Joseph Beuys' 1982 sculpture 'Fettecke' used to distil schnapps
BBC's The Secret History of Our Streets reveals a fascinating window into Britain's past

BBC takes viewers back down memory lane

The Secret History of Our Streets, which returns with three films looking at Scottish streets, is the inverse of Benefits Street - delivering warmth instead of cynicism
Joe, film review: Nicolas Cage delivers an astonishing performance in low budget drama

Nicolas Cage shines in low-budget drama Joe

Cage plays an ex-con in David Gordon Green's independent drama, which has been adapted from a novel by Larry Brown
How to make your own gourmet ice lollies, granitas, slushy cocktails and frozen yoghurt

Make your own ice lollies and frozen yoghurt

Think outside the cool box for this summer's tempting frozen treats
Ford Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time, with sales topping 4.1 million since 1976

Fiesta is UK's most popular car of all-time

Sales have topped 4.1 million since 1976. To celebrate this milestone, four Independent writers recall their Fiestas with pride
10 best reed diffusers

Heaven scent: 10 best reed diffusers

Keep your rooms smelling summery and fresh with one of these subtle but distinctive home fragrances that’ll last you months
Commonwealth Games 2014: Female boxers set to compete for first time

Female boxers set to compete at Commonwealth Games for first time

There’s no favourites and with no headguards anything could happen
Five things we’ve learned so far about Manchester United under Louis van Gaal

Five things we’ve learned so far about United under Van Gaal

It’s impossible to avoid the impression that the Dutch manager is playing to the gallery a little