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An RNLI volunteer shines a light on the helicopter wreckage in the early hours of this morning. RNLI
shetland islands

Photos: 4 confirmed dead after helicopter ditches in North Sea

Fourteen people were rescued after the helicopter crashed into the sea off the Shetland Islands last night.

THE BODIES OF three people have been found and rescuers are trying to recover the body of a fourth after a helicopter ditched into the sea near the Shetland Islands off the northern coast of Scotland.

The helicopter was carrying 18 people – 16 passengers and two crew – from an oil platform in the North Sea when it crashed into the water just west of Sumburgh Airport on the Shetland Isles shortly before 7pm last night.

Fourteen people were rescued from the scene after helicopters, lifeboats, a passenger ferry and a cargo vessel all joined the search for survivors.

Earlier this morning police in Scotland confirmed that three bodies had been recovered.

“Sadly, the bodies of three people have been recovered in the aftermath of yesterday’s crash, and we know that agencies are working to recover the body of the fourth person,” a spokesperson for the RNLI said.

“Obviously this is the news that everyone, included our lifeboat volunteers, dreaded – our thoughts and prayers are with the families and loved ones of those four people.”

Weather conditions at the time of the crash were not particularly good, which added a layer of difficulty to rescue attempts.

The helicopter wreckage was close to some cliffs, in what the RNLI said was a “fairly inaccessible position”. The wreckage has now been towed off the rocks and is being held in the shelter of a bay until a recovery operation can begin.

The helicopter, which was operated by CHC, one of the world’s biggest helicopter sevice companies – was used to transport people to and from the oil platform.

imageimageimage(All photos from the scene of the wreckage: RNLI)

Previously: Three still missing after helicopter crashes into sea near Shetland >

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