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Helicopter Crashes During Flight to M/Y Bacarella

May 11th 17
By Hillary Hoffower


UPDATE, 5/15: An investigation is still ongoing, but new reports claim that Norwegian investigators found that the helicopter’s downdraft blew loose a custom-fitted cover concealing a fueling station near the yacht’s helipad, causing the cover to fly up into the main rotor hub. The pilot reportedly deployed the helicopter’s emergency flotation system, which prevented it from sinking.


On the evening of May 10, local reports say a helicopter crashed into the water while attempting to land on board 196-foot M/Y Bacarella, which was anchored in the Sandviken area of Bergen, Norway, at the time. According to reports, three people were on board the helicopter; all were rescued and remain in the hospital, but one person is reportedly critically injured. 


Local Norwegian newspapers report an eyewitness claiming that something appeared to fly up into the helicopter’s rotors, but police say it’s too early to conclude exactly what caused the crash. 


An eyewitness told local paper VG, “Suddenly, I heard a…bang. Then a violent splash in the sea right behind the yacht…. It seemed as though the helicopter disappeared right into the sea. There was nothing to see in the water surface.” 


Police received notification of the incident around 9:30 p.m., local time. According to local reports, a rescue boat was already in the area for a towing mission when the accident occurred, apparently only 800 to 900 meters away when they heard the bang. They reportedly headed straight to the crash, where they immediately pulled all three passengers, one of who was unconscious, on board, administered CPR, and transported them to shore where an ambulance was waiting. 


“They came so shortly after the accident, [which] has probably been crucial for these three people getting up from the sea as quickly as they did,” Police Commissioner Frank Listøl told Bergens Tidende. 


The helicopter was reportedly lying in the sea with the floats up after the crash, with major damage to the rotor and tail section and broken windows. Police retrieved the helicopter from the water overnight; the wreck now lies on the dock. 


Two of the men are believed to be British citizens, including the pilot. Blood tests were taken of all three men as routine procedure, but police have no reason to believe they were under the influence at the time. 


Police are currently investigating the incident, including questioning the yacht’s crew. According to reports, no crewmembers were injured and the yacht didn’t suffer any damages.  




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