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Thu, Apr 02, 2009

At Least Eight Lost In North Sea Helo Downing

Super Puma Ditched Off Coast Of Scotland

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.



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