4 missing after Petrobras helicopter ditches off coast of Brazil

Posted: 08/21/2011 in all marine news

gCaptain –

Rescue teams in Brazil on Saturday morning resumed their search for a helicopter with four people on board that made an emergency landing at sea Friday some 100 kilometers off the southeast coast of Brazil.

The search had been suspended overnight but restarted at first light on Saturday, the Brazilian air force said in a statement.

The helicopter ditched in the sea after the pilot reported an emergency to air traffic control in Macae, an oil-industry hub in the north of the state, the air force said.

The helicopter had departed from the P-65 oil rig at around 5 p.m. local time on Friday, the air force said. The P-65 platform operates in the Enchova field, one of the first fields developed by the government-run oil company, Petroleo Brasileiro SA (PETR4.BR, PBR), in the prolific Campos Basin.

One air force plane and one navy plane joined with aircraft and ships of Petrobras to hunt for the helicopter and any survivors.

Petrobras said there were two crew members and two passengers aboard. The pilot was Rommel Oliveira Garcia, but the co-pilot’s name hasn’t been divulged at the request of the family.

The passengers were Ricardo Leal de Oliveira, employed by the Engevix engineering firm, and Joao Carlos Pereira da Silva, of Brasitest, which carries out quality control tests.

The helicopter belongs to the Senior air taxi company, and was being operated on behalf of Petrobras.

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