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By Robert Rapier on Mar 12, 2009 with no responses

Helicopter Crash Near Canada

While last month’s helicopter crash into the North Sea had a happy ending with everyone surviving, today’s crash off the coast of Canada did not. Like last month’s crash, there were 18 on board, but this time there are 16 missing from the helicopter which was on its way to an oil platform in the Atlantic.

Hunt for Canada crash survivors

Rescuers are searching freezing water for 16 people missing after a helicopter reported mechanical problems and ditched into the Atlantic Ocean.

Of the 18 on board, one person was rescued by another helicopter and one person was confirmed dead after the crash off Newfoundland, said officials. The other 16 were missing about 30 miles out to sea off the coast of Canada’s easternmost province.

Two life-rafts were spotted in the water, but rescuers later confirmed they were empty. “The two life-rafts have been checked and there is nobody in them,” said Mr Grychowski. “They’re still searching because they would have had their survival suits on.”

Major Denis McGuire, of the rescue co-ordination centre, said the water temperature was zero and rescuers would have about 24 hours to find them if they were wearing a survival suit. Everyone on board the helicopter would have been required to wear such a suit, which are equipped with water-activated locator beacons.

Sad, sad, sad. The problem with these crashes, as I have mentioned before, is that usually when a helicopter drops out of the sky the passengers don’t get a chance to utilize their survival training. Here’s hoping they find more survivors, but the prognosis is probably grim.