A man in his 30s died on Wednesday after he “managed to get himself out” of a rescue helicopter airlifting him to hospital from Statoil’s Troll A oil platform, police told TV2. The helicopter was still a few kilometers from shore when the man plummeted 600 meters to his death.
The man was believed to have been taken ill on Wednesday morning and was collected around 8am by the air ambulance, reported TV2. He fell from the helicopter on its way to Bergen around 45 minutes later, sparking another rescue operation. Police said the man’s body was recovered from the North Sea after an hour of searching.
“This is a kind of tragedy we have never experienced before,” said Svein Thompson from CHC Helicopter Service, adding that the incident came as a shock. “Our thoughts are now with the man’s family.”
Two pilots, a rescue officer, a lift operator and a medic were also on board the chopper. Police had spoken with some of them by Thursday morning, and said investigations were still underway.
Statoil said it would also look into the fatal incident. “We have chosen to properly follow up with those involved and have informed workers on the installation about the incident,” said head of information Ørjan Heradstveit. “We’re now working to process this internally.”
Media coverage quickly fell off most websites in Norway during the day on Thursday, also from TV2’s. Norwegian media have a general policy against reporting stories where suicide may be involved.