Job of raising wrecked helicopter gets underway

The tasks of recovering the body of the fourth person who died in Friday’s helicopter crash and raising the aircraft’s wrecked fuselage got underway today.

A specialist team of divers have been enlisted by the police to continue the recovery attempt which has been ongoing since the Super Puma L2 crashed near Sumburgh on Friday night.

The coastguard emergency towing vessel Herakles has been joined by the off-shore support vessel Bibby Polaris to help carry out the salvage operation.

Lerwick and Aith lifeboats were both launched to help with the recovery of debris on Saturday following Friday’s tragedy, and have been back out today to continue the operation –although the Aith lifeboat has now been stood down.

Four people died when the aircraft carrying 18 people suddenly went down south of Garths Ness at around 6.20pm on Friday.

The four were yesterday named as Duncan Munro, Sarah Darnley, Gary McCrossan and George Allison.

The RNLI said: “One can not imagine the turmoil that families and loved ones of those who died must be going through, and they are at the forefront of our minds at this very distressing time.”

Meanwhile helicopter operator CHC has temporarily suspended flights of all its Super Puma models amid deep concerns among union representatives about the aircraft’s safety record.

The accident – the cause of which is still unknown – is the fifth in the last four years to happen in Scottish waters involving Super Pumas. Last October 19 passengers and crew survived when a Super Puma EC225 ditched off Fair Isle.

A Facebook page has been set up calling for the Super Puma Helicopters to be scrapped.


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