Fatalities after helicopter ditches in the North SeaNews // April 2, 2009
Rescue vessels have recovered a number of fatalities following a helicopter crash in the North Sea on the afternoon of 1 April.
Two liferafts were spotted in the water which were both overturned. The search is continuing for the remaining passengers and crew.
The aircraft, a Bond AS 33L Mk 2 was carrying 16 people in total; 14 passengers and two crew. All were wearing survival suits.
At just before 2.00pm on 1 April, Aberdeen Coastguard were informed of a ditched Bond helicopter about 13 and a half miles off the coast of Crimond (between Fraserburgh and Peterhead)
Two helicopters from the RAF (R131 & R 137) were scrambled to the scene and a Nimrod marine patrol aircraft was diverted to the area. Aberdeen Coastguard began to broadcast a mayday signal into the area. RNLI lifeboats from Peterhead and Fraserburgh also searched the sea area.
Caledonian Victory was on scene and Nord Fortune and Vigilant were sent to the area. Four fishing vessels also became involved in the search, making a total of 11 vessels conducting a sea search.
A variety of vessels immediately responded, and the nearest vessel, Normand Aurora, launched her fast rescue craft to the scene.
The search was suspended at 22:00hrs on 1 April, and was due to be resumed at first light.