A ship at the spot where the Pawan Hans helicopter, in ONGC service, with nine on board crashed on June 28 (ANI)

MUMBAI: The offshore accident near Mumbai High last month, which claimed four lives, raised questions about the rescue operation and response times. TOI spoke to numerous sources who corroborated a narrative suggesting that the delay in the rescue mission in rough sea conditions may have proved fatal. When the Oil and Natural Gas Commission (ONGC) and the Coast Guard released statements following the incident, what was missing from their narrative was the timeline of the rescue. “The four people died not because they didn’t get out of the helicopter safely, but because help didn’t arrive in time,” a source said, asking for anonymity. A delayed mission combined with two other factors likely led to casualties, the sources said.
The inclement weather caused the sea to swell with waves up to 8-10 feet high. “During the monsoon, the rescue should be completed within 30-45 minutes,” said another source. But the four people who died were picked up two and a half hours after the helicopter was abandoned, the sources said. Second, the helicopter capsized immediately after landing. The Sikorsky S-76D has two external life rafts. “The rafts broke off on impact. The pilots tried to inflate it, but it didn’t work, “a source said.
A big question mark hovers over the supposedly prolonged save time. The TOI sent a questionnaire to the NGO and the Coast Guard on Monday. Neither of them replied.
With nine people on board, the Pawan Hans helicopter crashed into the sea between 11:35 and 11:40 am, less than a kilometer from the flight destination. Sagar Kiran rig. The inclement weather with its strong winds caused the sea to swell and the helicopter capsized. But his floats lined up and kept the helicopter floating. “Pilots Pawan Hans and NGO staff could get out of the plane,” the sources said. “All nine people in life jackets floating in the sea were visible from the rig. At that point no search operation was needed, they just needed to be rescued from the stormy sea, “the sources said. The two pilots managed to climb to the top of the floating helicopter and stopped three survivors. Four more floated. around.
“About 20 minutes later a boat dropped from the NGO’s Sagar Kiran rig reached the spot. He picked up the person closest to the rig and then came back, “said a source.” The people on top of the upside down helicopter screamed, whistled (the whistle comes with the life jacket) and pointed at the three people from other part of the plane capsized. But the boat didn’t come back. They probably feared the boat would capsize, “the sources said. “These three were finally picked up by naval helicopters after spending two and a half hours being whipped in the brackish waters. They did not survive, “the sources said.
Next to arrive, an hour and a half after abandoning the helicopter, was the NGO Malviya-16 offshore supply ship – 72 meters long and 16 meters wide. The ship’s turbulent wakes shook the helicopter. “The five at the top of the helicopter were struggling to stay still in the helicopter. But one person slipped overboard, “a source said. The four people on top of the helicopter and the one rescued from the NGO boat at first were the five who survived the accident.


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