Puma helicopter ditches in North Sea

2012-05-10 18:53

London - A helicopter serving oil and gas rigs ditched in the North Sea on Thursday but all 14 people on board escaped unhurt into a life-raft and were rescued, the coastguard said.

The Super Puma helicopter was forced to ditch 48km east of Aberdeen, the city on Scotland's east coast which acts as a base for offshore oil and gas operations.

"Nine people have now been rescued by helicopter and five by lifeboat," a coastguard spokesperson said. "There are no reports of any injuries."

The coastguard said the helicopter had been heading from Aberdeen to the Maersk Resilient drilling platform and then to the ENSCO 102 platform when the pilots broadcast an alert that they had been forced to ditch.

Both rigs are operated by US energy company ConocoPhillips.

A spokesperson for the operators of the helicopter, Bond Offshore, said it had made a "controlled descent" and had not crashed.

He said: "A low pressure oil warning light came on and the helicopter made a controlled descent and landed in the North Sea. It didn't crash."

It is the latest in a series of incidents involving helicopters in the North Sea.

Sixteen men died when a similar Super Puma plunged into the sea when its gearbox failed as it was flying from BP's Miller platform to Aberdeen on 1 April 2009.

Read more on:    uk  |  aviation
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