Helicopter rescued off Fair Isle – TugAdvise represent the salvors

The TugAdvise team at Tatham Macinnes are also assisting the owners, master and crew of the HERAKLES, the UK’s Emergency Towage Vessel.

The helicopter suffered a gearbox failure warning and soft landed a few miles South of Fair Isle, Scotland. The chopper crew were taken off unhurt and the craft lay on her flotation bags awaiting assistance. This was arranged by her owners. At the time the weather was benign. However the ETV, whilst standing by on MCA’s orders to monitor and ward off shipping in the area, observed that the helicopter showed signs the next morning of being in danger of capsizing. ETVs are permitted in these circumstances to intervene to save life or property. The tug launched its zodiac and her crew placed a soft floating line around the tail. The tug then carefully pulled the craft around into the wind and sea, stabilizing the craft pending the arrival of an OSV with a crane. In a well co-ordinated manoeuvre, the helicopter was then lifted onto the deck of the OSV and taken ashore.

Some old hands might recognize the HERAKLES as the former “SALVAGEMAN”, once the UK’s leading salvage tug operated by United Towing ltd of Hull during the time that TugAdvise Consultant Mike Lacey was that company’s managing director. Mike is understandably nostalgic.