NIMASA supports efforts to rescue crashed helicopter passengers

The Nigerian Maritime Administration and Safety Agency (NIMASA) has restated its commitment to search and rescue (SAR) operations in the nation’s maritime domain.

The agency, according to a statement issued Thursday by its Head of Public Affairs, Hajia Lami Tumaka, was part of the team that participated in the search and rescue operations of the crashed Bristow helicopter at the Oworoshoki end of the Lagos Lagoon Wednesday.

She said the rescue operation lasted several hours alongside other government agencies, where six of the twelve passengers on board were rescued.

“Being a core mandate of the agency, officers of the search and rescue unit swung into action with one of the SAR boats “NIMASA BENUE” to support rescue operations at the site of the incident.

“The Acting Director General, Mr. Haruna Baba Jauro who described the incident as unfortunate commiserated with the families of the victims and the management of the operators of the ill-fated craft,” Tumaka stated.

Meanwhile the two remaining persons on board the ill-fated helicopter have been recovered.

The victims, who were fished out of the lagoon by the emergency management agencies and local divers at about 10.30am, had, however, died.

The bodies were identified as that of the pilot and his assistant.

Operatives of emergency agencies on Thursday morning resumed the search for two missing persons on board the Bristow Helicopter, which plunged into Lagos lagoon in Owonroshoki on Wednesday.

The chopper, said to have 12 passengers, took off from an oil rig in the South-South and was billed to arrive in Lagos at about 3.35pm, crashed into the water a few minutes before its arrival time.

An official of LASEMA, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said the wreckage of the helicopter had been located deep inside the lagoon,‎ adding that it required intensive efforts to recover the missing persons.

He said, “We just came back from another round of search now. The wreckage has been located in the middle of the lagoon. But it has sunk deep.‎ We are intensifying our efforts to recover the missing persons. For now, we only saw the tail of the helicopter.‎”

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