11 people on board a crashed helicopter in Lagos have been rescued.
The nine passengers and the two crew members were on Wednesday, rescued alive, and this was attributed to the adherence of safety measures by the passengers and the timely intervention of rescue operations.
Commander of the Rapid Response Squad, Mr Olatunji Disu, said “the joint effort of the rescue team spearheaded by the RRS in collaboration with Shell, Agip and Mobil oil companies went a long way to save the lives of those on board. Only the pilot sustained injuries,” he said.
The helicopter with registration number N5BQJ was said to have taken off from Port-Harcourt on its way to Lagos.
“Everybody thought the helicopter crashed in their air field. But we immediately deployed the three RRS helicopters into the air and started the search. After some time the crashed helicopter was located 68 nautical miles out of Lagos on the ocean and we were able to communicate with the company,” the RRS Commander stressed.
He said Shell, Agip and Mobil oil companies provided speed boats, while the RRS Marine Boat was also deployed to join the search and rescue operations.
“LASEMA, Airport Police and others and the Fire Service were at the airport waiting, because they had thought that the crash occurred at the airport, but the RRS helicopters acting on information hovered around the air until the location of the crash was identified in the ocean,” Disu said.
Bristow Group disagrees
Meanwhile, the Bristow Group had in a statement confirmed the incident, the group however maintained that the aircraft did not crash but landed in water.
According to Bristow, “the aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C++, had departed on a routine crew transfer flight offshore with nine passengers and a crew of two.”
Reports say the passengers and crew members survived the crash as they floated with the help of their life jackets.
A previous Bristow helicopter crash in Lagos killed six people, last year.