Pictured: Dramatic moment 19 oil rig workers were rescued from the water after their helicopter was forced to make emergency landing off Shetland coast
- Super Puma helicopter ditched between Shetland and Orkney islands
- Men on board helped on to passing cargo ship and flown to mainland
- Helicopter was kept afloat with flotation bags until it could be taken away
- Super Puma helicopter fleets grounded as investigation begins
By ROB PREECE
This is the dramatic moment a major rescue operation began after a helicopter carrying 19 oil rig workers ditched in the sea.
Photographs of the Super Puma helicopter being kept afloat off the coast of Shetland were released for the first time today after every man was helped to safety.
Rescuers then faced a race against time to lift the aircraft into a recovery vessel before it sank.
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I was fogged in Lerwick, Shetland yesterday when this happened... Other Islanders could easily see the rescue taking place with binoculars just west off Fair Isle. Opinions range the ditching was 4 to 7 miles out from shore? Differing from the official reports of 14 miles away... I think, "officially" oil tankers need to stay 12 miles away from landfall? On my plane ride in this morning I could see a distant red & white dot that may or may not of been the Helicopter? But a hour later the next Direct Flight Plane to Fair Isle took a detour and a photographer to get photos of the abandoned and still floating craft. I'm glad no one was hurt. Fair Isle HM Coastgaurd Team & the Good Shepherd played no part of the rescue. cheers!