Three Britons were injured at 9pm on Wednesday evening as a helicopter attempted to land on 59m MY Bacarella, which was at anchor in a fjord in Bergen. Haukeland University Hospital has confirmed that one 57-year-male is in a critical condition; the other two gentlemen have had their injuries described as “minor”.
The incident was watched by Kara Lynsdale, from London. “It almost looked like it rolled off the boat, or hadn't landed properly on the boat and missed it," she said. “It fell from such a low height that it just plunged - it sank straight away.”
An investigation into the incident has begun, although, at present, there has been no suggestion of negligence or foul play. It is believed that the incident was caused when the rotors of the helicopter got caught in a tarpaulin once the vehicle had landed on Bacarella, causing the helicopter to be tossed overboard.
While helicopter incidents are, fortunately, a rarity in the superyacht industry, accidents such as this go to show why regulation and effective safety procedures are becoming an increasingly important element of the market. With on board helicopter landing platforms becoming ever more common, the industry has a responsibility to ensure that incidents, such as the accident on Wednesday, are as infrequent as can be.
Photo credit: Tor Høvik
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