Helicopter Crashes During Flight to M/Y Bacarella

11 May 2017 By Hillary Hoffower

UPDATE, 5/15: An investigation is still ongoing, but new reports claim that Norwegian investigators found that the helicopter’s downdraft blew loose a custom-fitted cover concealing a fueling station near the yacht’s helipad, causing the cover to fly up into the main rotor hub. The pilot reportedly deployed the helicopter’s emergency flotation system, which prevented it from sinking.

On the evening of May 10, local reports say a helicoptercrashed into the water while attempting to land on board 196-foot M/Y Bacarella, which was anchored in theSandviken area of Bergen, Norway, at the time. According to reports, threepeople were on board the helicopter; all were rescued and remain in thehospital, but one person is reportedly critically injured.

Local Norwegian newspapers report an eyewitness claimingthat something appeared to fly up into the helicopter’s rotors, but police sayit’s too early to conclude exactly what caused the crash.

An eyewitness told local paper VG,“Suddenly, I heard a…bang. Then a violent splash in the sea right behind theyacht…. It seemed as though the helicopter disappeared right into the sea.There was nothing to see in the water surface.”

Police received notification of the incident around 9:30p.m., local time. According to local reports, a rescue boat was already in thearea for a towing mission when the accident occurred, apparently only 800 to900 meters away when they heard the bang. They reportedly headed straight tothe crash, where they immediately pulled all three passengers, one of who wasunconscious, on board, administered CPR, and transported them to shore where anambulance was waiting.

“They came so shortly after the accident, [which] hasprobably been crucial for these three people getting up from the sea as quicklyas they did,” Police Commissioner Frank Listøl told Bergens Tidende.

The helicopter wasreportedly lying in the sea with the floats up after the crash, with majordamage to the rotor and tail section and broken windows. Police retrieved thehelicopter from the water overnight; the wreck now lies on the dock.

Two of the men arebelieved to be British citizens, including the pilot. Blood tests were taken ofall three men as routine procedure, but police have no reason to believe theywere under the influence at the time.

Police arecurrently investigating the incident, including questioning the yacht’s crew.According to reports, no crewmembers were injured and the yacht didn’t sufferany damages.