Two Bell 212 machines were immediately dispatched from the field to participate in the rescue operation, and one spotted a survivor among wreckage and dead bodies.
The helicopter lacked a hoist and the man in the sea was too exhausted to take hold of a lowered rope. Pilots Eivind Ytrestøyl and Øystein Dahl then descended so low that mechanic Dag Hjelmer could grab the survivor’s jacket in the two-metre-high waves.
But he was so heavy and weak that it proved impossible to pull him aboard. Co-pilot Dahl then took a chance. Equipped with a lifejacket and an inflatable raft, he hopped into the sea to try and save the man, who had spent almost 50 minutes in water at a temperature of five-six degrees.
But the attempt failed. The raft overturned, and when Dahl resurfaced he never saw the man again. He had not been wearing a survival suit, simply a life jacket over a dark suit.
Michael Boxill, chief pilot at Norway’s Helikopter Service, says that the cause of the crash could not be established. No technical faults were found when the wreck was recovered.
The two German pilots, Manfred Germrot and Albert Buchow, probably flew straight into the sea at a shallow angle in the November mist.[REMOVE]Fotnote: Helgesen, Jan-Petter; Start rotoren. Helikopteret plass i norsk luftfart (1991).
Gas starts flowing to EmdenCod 7/11 A comes on stream