A Bristow helicopter bound for Lagos from Port-Harcourt, Nigeria crashed yesterday, 3 February.
In 2015, the same helicopter company crashed into the Lagos Lagoon, where it killed six passengers. The company confirmed the crash in a statement release.
“Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited, confirms that one of its helicopters was involved in a water landing near Lagos at about 10:25am local time on return from an offshore platform.
“The aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C++, had departed on a routine crew transfer flight offshore with nine passengers and a crew of two.
“All persons on board are accounted for and are in the process of being transferred to a nearby installation.
“The company is in the process of collecting pertinent information and will release more details as soon as it is available.”
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Nigeria’s mission control center allegedly received a distress signal from the helicopter and an emergency rescue team was immediately sent. The helicopter was spotted in an ocean by the Lagos Rapid Response team.
The spokesperson for the National Emergency Management Agency, South-West zone, Ibrahim Farinloye, said;
“The Nigeria’s Mission Control Centre, through the Cospas SARSat, picked the distress alert beacon from the helicopter at a coördinate of 05 44.3N 004 16.9E, which is in the Lagos area.
“Cospas SARSat is a global search and rescue equipment and Nigeria has one of the four in Africa. Others are in Algeria, South Africa and Tunisia. Nigeria’s system covers West and Central Africa. Whoever installs the beacon in his plane or ship, once there is an emergency and the beacon shakes, it is activated. This was what happened in this situation. We picked the signal and immediately raised a rescue team with the Nigerian Navy and Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency.”
The General Manager of the Lagos State Emergency Management Agency, Michael Akindele, gave credit to the emergency rescue team and commended the use of life jackets which enabled all passengers on board to stay alive.
“The helicopter plunged into the ocean and all 11 souls survived; there was no casualty. The support of Agip, Mobil and Shell companies in the provision of speedboats proved vital. Bristow Helicopters also provided a landing boat for the evacuation of the survivors.
“The survival of the passengers is due to adherence to the use of life jackets. The success of this is attributed to the will of God and the recently conducted emergency preparedness simulation of air crash by NEMA, LASEMA and other stakeholders. Further investigation on the crash will be looked into by the relevant authorities.”