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Twenty men were plucked from the sea offshore Malaysia after their helicopter went down near an oil rig yesterday.

The pilot, however, is still missing.

The Super Puma helicopter, chartered by ExxonMobil Exploration and Production Malaysia Inc, was carrying 19 oil rig workers.

Co-pilot Ismail Bakar, 43, was also rescued.

A search operation for the pilot, Captain Mohd Salleh Teguh from Johor, is under way.

The helicopter was believed to have developed technical problems while approaching the company's Tapis B platform, about 103 nautical miles off Dungun. It crashed at 11.45am.

The survivors, three of whom were injured, were rescued by workers from the oil platform.

"The colleagues on the platform realized what had happened and immediately launched a rescue operation," state police chief SAC1 Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said.

The rescued workers were sent to the Kuala Terengganu Hospital after first aid treatment on the platform.

The helicopter, belonging to Malaysian Helicopter Sevices (MHS) Aviation Bhd, had taken off from the Kertih Airport in Kemaman an hour earlier.

ExxonMobil said it had grounded all Super Puma helicopters used for its operations in Malaysia.

This is the third crash in just over a year involving helicopters belonging to MHS.

On Feb 23, the engine of a Super Puma helicopter caught fire as it was about to take off from the Miri airport in Sarawak .

All the 14 oil rig workers and the pilot were unhurt .

On June 18 last year, a similar helicopter crashed in the South China Sea while flying to the B11 oil platform, off Bintulu. There were no casualties.
We should be paid danger money Smile
Owing to the fact that we get screwed on in insurance and work in the "Oil industry"
bugger thats only 60kms to the west of me.... crew boat anyone. hope they find the pilot.

h20mrv .... ?
Article from New Strait Times:

The body of Captain Mohd Salleh Teguh has been found. The 47-year-old pilot was still strapped to his seat in the Super Puma helicopter which crashed into the sea last Sunday.

The wreckage was spotted at about 3am today by a mini-submarine some 100m from the crash site near the Tapis B oil platform, about 190km off Dungun.

The ExxonMobile mini-sub, normally used for oil exploration, had been involved in the search from the start.

State police chief SAC I Acryl Sani Abdullah Sani said that at 1pm, the rescue team had yet to recover the body due to bad weather and a strong undercurrent.

Acryl Sani said once the body was secured, it would be sent to the Tengku Ampuan Afzan Hospital in Kuantan, Pahang, for autopsy.

He declined to comment on the cause of the crash, saying that is the job for the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA).

DCA chief inspector of accident investigation Idrus Abdul Rahman refused to comment as well, saying that the investigation has just begun.

Capt Mohd Salleh was ferrying 19 oil rig workers to the rig when the accident occurred. All 19 workers and the co-pilot, 43-year-old Ismail Bakar, survived the crash.

ExxonMobil Exploratiom and Production Malaysia Inc chairman, Liam M. Nelson, expressed his condolences to Capt Mohd Salleh’s family.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with them during this difficult time," he said.

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