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Again, Bristow Helicopter Crashes in Lagos Ocean

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An helicopter belonging to Bristow Helicopter crashed in the Atlantic Ocean in Lagos.

The helicopter was conveying oil workers returning from their offshore duties.

The Accident Investigation Bureau (AIB), Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) and the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA) confirmed the incident.

Spokesperson of NCAA, Sam Adurigboye, in a text message, said there was no casualty as the 11 persons on board were rescued after the chopper ditched into the Atlantic Ocean.

“It happened 70 nautical miles off Lagos. They were returning from their off-shore location called ERA. Nine passengers and two crew on board were all rescued,” he said.

The AIB, in a statement also confirmed the crash.

According to the statement; “A S76 C++ helicopter marked 5N-BQJ belonging to Bristow Helicopters, which departed ERHA Platform en-route Lagos was ditched into the Atlantic Ocean 95 nautical miles into destination at about 10:20 am local time.

“All the eleven peoples 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,” it said.

Similarly, the General Manager of LASEMA, Mr Michael Akindele, in a statement, said emergency responders including three RRS search and rescue Helicopters, Nigeria Navy, Air Force and others were deployed for the operation.

“The helicopter ditched inside the ocean, however 11 souls on board are alive, no casualty,” he said.

Akindele said Agip, Mobil and Shell oil companies helped with the provision of speed boats to facilitate the rescue operation.

He said Bristow Helicopter also provided landing boat for the evacuation of the survivors.

The Media Consultant to Bristow Helicopters, Mr Cornelius Onuora, said the incident was not a crash but a controlled ditching, which was an emergency landing of a helicopter on water.

Onuora said the pilot observed that there was a technical issue with the helicopter and he decided to land it earlier than scheduled.

A reliable source told Vanguard that three of the survivors suffered a medical condition known as hypothermia but they are currently said to be in a stable condition.

More so, the Flag Officer Commanding, FOC Western Naval Command of the Nigerian Navy, Rear Admiral Ralph Osondu said “MV DIJAMA launched two of its boats to rescue all 11 people in the helicopter.

Rear Admiral Osondu said, “MV DIJAMA was the first to get to the scene. It happened 40 nautical miles from Igbokoda, Ondo State. The helicopter had nine passengers and two crew members. All were rescued and handed over to a speedboat, SURFER P2621, which took them ashore to the nearest hospital in Ondo State.”

However, the Director General of NCAA, Muhtar Usman, has announced the indefinite suspension of the use of Bristow Helicopters Limited’s Sikorsky S-76C++ aircraft type after the incident, while noting that the suspension was to enable the NCAA carry out a full scale audit on its operations with particular emphasis on the Sikorsky S-76C++ type.

Usman said, “I must mention that this suspension is not a vote of no confidence on the airline. It is to ascertain the adequacy and the propriety of the operating aircraft.”