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14 rescued after helicopter ditches into sea

posted 10 May 2012, 11:49 by Sam Mbale   [ updated 10 May 2012, 11:49 ]

A major rescue operation is launched after a helicopter descended into the North Sea; all 14 on board have been transported to land and none have sustained serious injuries.

AT SEA IN NORTH SEA (MAY 10, 2012) (ROYAL AIRFORCE) - All fourteen people on board a helicopter that ditched in the North Sea have arrived safely back on land after being rescued by helicopters and rescue ships.

Twelve passengers and two crew members were on board the helicopter when it came down 25 miles (40km) off the coast of the Scottish port of Aberdeen shortly after midday.

Nine men were flown to Aberdeen Royal Infirmary while the remaining five were taken to Aberdeen by lifeboat.

One man has been kept in hospital for observation, the rest have been discharged.

Emergency consultant James Ferguson said none of those on the ditched helicopter had been seriously injured.

"Actually I am glad to say nobody was injured serious at all it all seems to be minor injuries, it looks like when they ditched they were able to make a controlled exit form the helicopter so really all we are seeing is minor bumps and grazes from getting out of the helicopter," he said.

The EC225 Super Puma helicopter, operated by Bond Offshore, had been on its way from Aberdeen to the offshore Maersk Resilient rig and the Ensco 102 rig.

Rig operator Conoco Phillips said the passengers were contractors on their way to support the drilling rigs.

A Bond spokesman said a low pressure oil warning light came on and the helicopter made a controlled descent and landed in the North Sea.

A major rescue operation was launched after the alarm was raised.

Coastguard and Royal Air Force (RAF) helicopters and two lifeboats took part in the rescue operation.

The helicopter was returning from BP's Miller platform when it went down 11 miles (18km) north-east of Peterhead.