Lives lost as Helicopter ditches

Rescue vessels are in the process of recovering a number of fatalities following a helicopter crash earlier this afternoon. 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.

The weather this afternoon is dry and settled in the area with light breezes, south easterly3 veering southerly 4, visibility is moderate to good. The temperature of the water in the area is currently 8 degrees Celsius.

At just before 2.00 pm this afternoon, 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 has been diverted to the area. Aberdeen Coastguard began to broadcast a mayday signal into the area. RNLI lifeboats from Peterhead and Fraserburgh are also searching in the sea area.

The Caledonian Victory is on scene and the Nord Fortune and Vigilant are on their way. Four fishing vessels are also involved in the search, making a total of 11 vessels conducting a sea search.

A variety of vessels immediately responded and the nearest vessel the Normand Aurora have launched their fast rescue craft to the scene.

Date Added - 01-Apr-2009

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