Shetland Helicopter Crash: Fourth Body Recovered
Police Scotland has confirmed that the body of the last remaining person has been recovered from the wreckage following the helicopter which came down near to Sumburgh, Shetland on Friday 23 August.
Chief Inspector Angus MacInnes said: “The fourth person was recovered from the wreckage a short time ago and we have deployed Family Liaison Officers to support those who have lost loved ones. We are also working with the industry to help support all of those affected.
“The North Sea is an extreme environment which has posed challenges for the recovery operation, not least the weather conditions which we have seen over the last 24 hours.
“Here in Shetland we are working with Police Scotland colleagues from across the country and partner agencies locally to ensure that the recovery operation is concluded as efficiently and effectively as possible.”
This brings the total number of bodies recovered to four, with two people remaining in hospital in Lerwick with non-life threatening injuries. A further 12 people were released from hospital and returned to Aberdeen on Saturday 24 August.
Chief Inspector MacInnes continued: “Friday’s incident has had a huge impact on those who work or have relatives in the oil and gas industries but also the communities in Shetland and Aberdeen. There is a tangible sense of mourning and shock in the area and there is unlikely to be anyone who hasn’t had this on their minds over the last few days.
“The quick and co-ordinated response by the Maritime and Coastguard Agency (MCA), RNLI and other emergency services may have prevented further loss of life in this already tragic incident.
“The response to Friday’s incident has included hundreds of people from a variety of organisations including the MCA, RNLI, RAF, Police Scotland, the local NHS, local authority and the offshore industry itself.
Chief Inspector MacInnes added: “In the north of Scotland we have had responsibility for the policing of the offshore industry for several decades and regrettably we have considerable experience and expertise in dealing with this type of event.
“We have well-rehearsed plans in place to quickly respond should the worst happen and the public should be assured that we have made the full resources of Police Scotland available.
“This will continue to be the case as we move forward with our investigation into the cause of this tragedy.”
The Super Puma L2 helicopter, owned by CHC, on its way from the Borgsten Dolphin semi-submersible drilling rig , was on approach to Sumburgh Airport yesterday at about 6.30 p.m. local time when contact was lost with air traffic control.
Shetland Coastguard immediately requested helicopter assistance. The Coastguard Rescue helicopter based in Shetland, the RAF rescue helicopter from Lossiemouth and two Bond helicopters proceeded to the scene along with the RNLI all-weather lifeboats from Aith and Lerwick.
According to several sources, the aircraft lost power and hit the sea. It was not a controlled landing.
“The helicopter just dropped, no time to brace. It rolled when it hit the water,” one survivor told Sky News.
August 27, 2013