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North Sea helicopter ditching: ‘All safe’

22 October 2012 Last updated at 17:37

All 19 people on board a helicopter which ditched in the North Sea are reported to be safe.

The incident happened in an area 32 miles south of Shetland, off Fair Isle. The alarm was raised at about 15:30.

CHC Helicopter confirmed one of its aircraft was involved, but the exact details were not yet known.

It is understood the Super Puma EC 225 had been heading to the West Phoenix drilling rig.

The 19 people were being taken to Kirkwall on Orkney.

A CHC spokesperson said: “The appropriate authorities have been informed and the company’s incident management team has been mobilised.”

An RNLI spokesperson told BBC Scotland the Kirkwall, Aith and Lerwick lifeboats were launched after being alerted by Shetland Coastguard.

Helicopters were also sent to the scene.

In May, all 14 people on board a Super Puma EC225 were rescued when their helicopter came down around 30 miles off the coast of Aberdeen during a flight to an oil rig.

Jake Molloy, from the RMT union, said: “Coming so soon after another ditching, and culminating in four incidents in the space a little over three years, it’s bound to cause a bit of concern on the ground.

“I think what’s absolutely vital now is to get communications out to reassure the workforce and their families, that their means of transportation to and from their work is safe.”

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