Nine passengers and two crew members were yesterday rescued alive as another Bristow helicopter crashed 95 nautical miles into destination.
Nigerian Pilot gathered that the 11 passengers and the crew members rescued alive have been rushed to hospital.
This accident is coming nearly six months after another Bristow helicopter crashed in August at the Oworoshoki end of Third Mainland Bridge in Lagos, killing six souls on board while six others survived.
A statement signed by Head, Public Affairs of Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB, Tunji Oketunbi stated that A S76 C++ helicopter marked 5N-BQJ belonging to Bristow Helicopters departed ERHA Platform enroute Lagos was ditched into the Atlantic Ocean 95 nautical miles into destination about 10:20am local time.
Oketunbi disclosed that all the 11 souls on board including two crew members were rescued alive.
“Accident Investigation Bureau, AIB has commenced investigation into the occurrence. Details will be communicated to you later,, he said in the statement.
Speaking on the accident, the spokesman of Bristow Helicopter, Cornelius Onuoha explained that what happened to the helicopter was a controlled ditching by the crew.
In his statement, the spokesman of the National Emergency Management Agency, NEMA, Ibrahim Farinloye also confirmed that 11 passengers and crews were rescued alive from the Bristow helicopter crash.
According to him: “The coordinate/location is 05 44.3N 004 16.9E. The coordinate occurred in high sea in Lagos area.
Nigeria’s Mission Control Centre (MCC) of Cospas SARS picked the distress alert beacon from the helicopter with the above coordinate. “
He said NEMA immediately raised search and rescue team with Nigeria Navy, and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency, NIMASA along with other agencies for immediate response.
It would be recalled that on August 12, 2015, a Bristow Helicopter with registration number 5N-BGD operated by Bristow crashed into the lagoon in Oworonshoki area of Lagos.
The Sikosky 76 Helicopter, which was believed to have departed SEDCO oil platform offshore on 12th August 2015 crashed on its approach to landing at Murtala Muhammed Airport, Ikeja, Lagos.
After search and rescue operation, six of the 12 persons on board, including the two crew members were fatally injured while the six survivors were rushed to hospital for treatment.
Lagos RRS Choppers help locate crashed Bristow Helicopter site
Meanwhile, the three helicopters of the Rapid Response Squad (RRS) purchased by the present administration of Governor Akinwunmi Ambode, aided in locating and rescuing of the Bristow helicopter, which crashed while heading to Lagos from Port Harcourt.
The RRS helicopters are part of the security equipment purchased at a cost of N4.7billion by the Governor Ambode administration with the aim of beefing up security as well as aid in emergency rescue operations.
Commander of the RRS, Olatunji Disu, said that immediately the command was alerted of the crash on Wednesday morning, the three helicopters were immediately deployed to commence a search for its possible location.
He said Shell, Agip and Mobil oil companies provided speed boats, while the RRS Marine Boat was also deployed to join the search and rescue operations.
According to Disu, “The joint effort of the rescue team spearheaded by the RRS in collaboration with Shell, Agip and Mobil oil companies went a long way in the rescue effort.”