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Offshore News: Helicopter ditches offshore Newfoundland with 18 onboard

Posted on 12.03.2009 - 14:15 EDT in GENERAL NEWS by Rons_ROV_Links

Helicopter ditches offshore Newfoundland with 18 onboardA Cougar Helicopters Sikorsky S-92 helicopter, Cougar 911, carrying 18 people from St. Johns, Newfoundland, to offshore oil installations Hibernia and SeaRose made an emergency landing into the Atlantic Ocean this morning at 9:18 local time. Of the two people found so far, one man is dead, while the other was transported to a hospital.

According to Halifax Rescue Co-ordination Centre spokesperson Jeri Grychowski, the helicopter was taking workers to the Hibernia platform, which stands in the Hibernia field, jointly owned by ExxonMobil, Chevron, Petro-Canada, Canada Hibernia Holding Corp., Murphy Oil and StatoilHydro, and the SeaRose FPSO in the White Rose field. The SeaRose is 350 kilometers (217 miles) offshore and is operated by Husky Energy.

One person, Robert Decker, has been recovered and transported to the St. Johns Health Science Center, where he is in critical condition. Two life rafts were spotted in the area, but were empty when found. The helicopter itself sank soon after hitting the water.

Four Cormorant helicopters, two Hercules aircraft from Nova Scotia, search and rescue aircraft Arcturus and a Canadian Coast Guard vessel have been dispatched to the area and are actively searching for survivors.

Wind in the area is around 40 knots, while waves are three meters (9.8 ft) in height. According to Grychowski, considering the water temperature and the immersion suits used by the workers aboard, those left in the water can survive for around 30 hours.

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