One Missing after Pilot Transfer Helicopter Crashes off Port Hedland
A helicopter, which was on its way to the bulk carrier MV Squireship to collect a marine pilot, crashed on Thursday, off the Port Hedland.
There were two people on board the helicopter, as reported by the Australian Maritime Safety Authority (AMSA).
The marine pilot on board the MV Squireship witnessed the incident and immediately notified harbor control, which in turn advised AMSA.
Around the same time, AMSA said that it had detected a distress beacon from one of the helicopter’s crew members.
“Four flares were also seen in the search area shortly after the crash. Around 1.00 am AWST a pilot vessel picked up one of the helicopter’s crew members who was injured but safe in a life raft. He was taken to Port Hedland Hospital,” AMSA said.
Seven aircraft, including AMSA’s Challenger Search and Rescue jet, four tug boats, two pilot vessels and Volunteer Marine Rescue Port Hedland joined the search for the missing helicopter pilot.
“While debris from the helicopter has been located, there have been no sightings of the missing pilot. Any debris located by members of the public should be reported to Western Australia Police immediately,” AMSA added.
Western Australia Police are making arrangements for a sub-surface search for the wreckage of the helicopter.
Search operations for the missing helicopter pilot will resume this morning, involving four vessels, seven helicopters and AMSA’s Challenger search and rescue jet, AMS informed.
Today’s search will cover an area more than 1000 square kilometers. Weather conditions for the search are good, with clear visibility and calm seas, AMSA added.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau will investigate the incident.