Bristow Helicopters (Nigeria) Limited, confirmed that one of its helicopters, was involved in a water landing near Lagos at about 10.25 a.m. local time on return from an offshore platform.
The aircraft, a Sikorsky S-76C++ (tail number 5N-BQJ), had departed on a routine crew transfer flight offshore with nine passengers and a crew of two. All passengers and the crew onboard the aircraft are safe and accounted for, and were transferred to a nearby onshore installation.
“We are incredibly thankful that everyone on board the helicopter is safe and has been accounted for,” said Bristow’s Regional Director Africa Duncan Moore. “Our highest priority is to take care of our crew and clients and their family members and provide them with any assistance needed.”
Bristow is fully cooperating with local authorities in its investigation to determine the cause, and to begin recovery of the aircraft, which is located approximately 75 nautical miles offshore.
The airline confirmed that following standard practice, the Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA) has advised Bristow to temporarily stop operation of the Sikorsky S-76C family of aircraft in Nigeria.
“Bristow would like to take this opportunity to thank everyone who has helped us in responding to the controlled water landing of one of our helicopters near Lagos,” said Duncan Moore, Bristow Regional Director for Africa. “We would like to recognize the tremendous efforts of our Nigeria team in response to this event”.
“We would like to thank Mobil Producing Nigeria Unlimited, Caverton Helicopters Limited, Chevron Nigeria Limited, Nigerian Agip Oil Company, West African Ventures, Shell Nigeria Exploration and Production Company Limited, The Nigerian Civil Aviation Authority (NCAA), The Nigerian Accident Investigation Bureau, The Federal Airport Authority of Nigeria and The Nigerian Airspace Management Authority, for their immediate support in retrieving the passengers and crew from the inflatable life raft deployed by the helicopter”, added Moore.
“We also thank Lagos State Emergency Management Agency (LASEMA), The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) and National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) for coordinating the recovery activities and the Lagos State authorities for their response.”