Recovery of Russian helicopter wreck at Svalbard will take place on Friday
The Russian helicopter that crashed a week ago near Barentsburg will be recovered on Friday. The vessel Maersk Forza arrived at the site night before Thursday.
The vessel is originally an offshore construction vessel with multiple applications and has been hired by the Norwegian Civil Aviation Commission to participate in the work of raising the Russian helicopter that crashed a week ago.
According to the Governor of Svalbard, the ship arrived at the accident site night before Thursday and is now being prepared for the lifting operation. The ship is equipped with ROV’s and a powerful crane.
– The actual lifting does not happen until Friday morning. The vessel is now investigating the area around the helicopter wreck with a ROV. The first step is to look for the deceased around the helicopter, says communications advisor, Terje Carlsen, to NTB.
According to the accident commission, a specialist from the Russian helicopter manufacturer will be present to make recommendations in order to take care of the wreck during the lift. Russian divers will also participate in the operation.
Search personnel also conduct coastal search on Thursday. Russian crews will also seek along the coast from Hollenderdalen to Grønfjorden with sonar from a skiff.
The Governor also informs that the fireplace lounge in Svalbard church has been opened for anyone who wants to come by. The offer is also conveyed to the Russians assistants who are in Longyearbyen.
The helicopter is located on 209 metres deep, about 2 kilometers from land northeast of Cape Heer.
There were eight Russian nationals aboard the helicopter when it crashed; five were crew and three were passengers from FGBU – the Russian equivalent of the Norwegian Polar Institute. One of the deceased was picked up from the water on Tuesday. The others have not yet been found.
© NTB Scanpix / Norway Today