At least eight bodies have been recovered following the
Wednesday afternoon ditching of a Eurocopter EC225 Super Puma off
the northeast coast of Scotland. Search crews are working to find
the other eight persons reported onboard the helicopter.
The Associated Press reports the Bond-operated helicopter was
returning 14 workers to Britain when it crashed. The helicopter was
flying for the oil company BP, and had been due to arrive in
Aberdeen at 1415 local time.
Britain's Maritime and Coastguard Agency dispatched two Royal
Air Force helicopters and a Nimrod reconnaissance aircraft to join
several search boats at the scene of the accident. All people
onboard the helo were in survival suits; crews found two overturned
life rafts in the water near where the bodies were found.
The accident comes less than six weeks after another
Bond-operated Super Puma was forced to ditch in the North Sea. In
that crash, all 16 persons onboard were rescued.
As ANN reported three weeks ago, all but one
person onboard a Sikorsky S-92 were killed when that offshore
transport ditched off the coast of Newfoundland. Investigators
believe that helo, operated by Cougar Helicopters, suffered broken
titanium studs in the aircraft's gearbox oil bowl, leading to
failure of the aircraft's transmission system.