Helicopter Down Offshore Newfoundland

A helicopter has ditched in Atlantic waters off Canada’s easternmost province of Newfoundland, reports say.

A local rescue co-ordinator told news agencies that 18 people were on board at the time of the incident.

Jeri Grychowski said one survivor had been lifted from the freezing water, but the fate of the other 17 remains unknown at present.

A search-and-rescue operation is under way, involving military and civilian aircraft and ships.

The helicopter was said to have been ferrying workers to the Hibernia offshore oil platform.

It reportedly ditched 47 nautical miles (54 miles; 87km) south-east of St John’s, capital of Newfoundland.

Strong winds

Ms Grychowski - of the Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Halifax - earlier said two people had been spotted in the water. One person is now thought to have been rescued and taken to hospital.

Mechanical problems were reported but we don’t know the nature
Julie Leroux

Transportation Safety Board of Canada

A life raft was also seen, though it was not clear whether anyone was inside it. There was no sign of the helicopter.

“We’re still actively searching,” Ms Grychowski told the BBC. She said winds were fairly strong in the area, with 1.8m-2.7m (6-9ft) waves.
The rescue centre said a mayday call had been issued just before 0800 EST (1300 GMT).

“Mechanical problems were reported but we don’t know the nature,” Julie Leroux, of the Transportation Safety Board of Canada, told AP news agency.

A local health official said the emergency room of a St John’s hospital was being prepared for “critically ill or hypothermic people”.
Shuttle service

Those aboard the helicopter are thought to have been oil workers.
“It’s a shuttle service between Hibernia and St John’s, Newfoundland,” Ms Grychowski said.

“It moves passengers from the mainland to the Hibernia oil rig, which is about 170 nautical miles from the mainland.”


Is your HUET up to date?

any updates this morning?

Heard 16 still missing and CCG was securing the search… :frowning:

if that’s the case they’re gone…RIP

Rescuers Wind Down Search for Canada Helicopter Crash Survivors
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By Christopher Donville and Frederic Tomesco
March 13 (Bloomberg) – Rescuers are winding down their search for 16 people missing after a helicopter carrying oil workers crashed yesterday in the Atlantic Ocean off Newfoundland.
“The search has been reduced,” said Major Paul Doucette, a spokesman for Canada’sJoint Rescue Coordination Centre in Halifax, Nova Scotia. “There’s still a couple of vessels that will stay out, but it’s not the dedicated search that it was,” he said in a phone interview.
Search crews plucked one survivor from the water yesterday and another person was found dead after the helicopter ditched into the frigid waters.
Officials brought in a Hercules C-130 aircraft, two Cormorant helicopters, two Coast Guard vessels and two commercial ships in their search, the rescue center said. The effort covered about 1,200 square nautical miles.
Water temperatures were near zero Celsius (32 Fahrenheit) in the area, CBC Newsworld television said.
The chopper was operated by Cougar Helicopters of St. John’s and was heading for Husky Energy Inc.’s Sea Rose oil rig and the nearby Hibernia platform, in which Exxon Mobil Corp. is the lead partner. Sea Rose serves Husky’s White Rose field.
The helicopter overturned and sank about 400 feet (122 meters) to the bottom of the ocean. Two empty life rafts were found at the scene.
Mayday Call
The crash took place yesterday at 9:48 a.m. local time, eight minutes after the pilot’s mayday call, said Major Denis McGuire of the rescue center.
The Sikorsky S-92 helicopter went down about 65 kilometers from shore as it was carrying workers to the Hibernia and Sea Rose platforms. Eighteen people, including two crew members, were on the chopper.
Debris from the crash was scattered over 6 nautical square miles, McGuire said.
The survivor, Robert Decker, 30, is in critical but stable condition in a local hospital, CBC Newsworld reported. He is being treated for salt in his lungs, a broken bone and hypothermia.
Investigators will use inflatable balloons to try to bring the helicopter to the surface in the next few days, Charles Laurence, operations team leader at Canada’s Transportation Safety Board, said in a telephone interview from St. John’s.
Weather permitting, they may go underwater as early as tomorrow with the help of a remotely operated vehicle, he said.

More headlines:

Some of the people crewing platforms in Newfoundland and Labrador’s offshore oil industry will likely leave the business because of anxiety over last week’s helicopter crash, a union official said Monday.

Sheldon Peddle, who works on the Hibernia platform and is president of Local 2121 of the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers union, said the Cougar Helicopters crash —which killed 17 of 18 aboard, most of them headed to Hibernia and the nearby White Rose field — has already had a deep impact in the local industry.

“There’s people that will make a permanent decision on this and probably won’t return offshore, and there’s other people that right now are pretty shook up about the whole aspect of flying back and forth [to] St. John’s,” Peddle said.

Cougar Helicopters has suspended its flights to and from the platforms working in the three oilfields on the Grand Banks, all southeast of St. John’s. For now, supply vessels will be transporting crews during shift changes.
Read More…

The wild thing is I fly on a Sikorsky S-92. Scary Stuff!