A major search is underway for the pilot of a helicopter which crashed into the ocean off Western Australia’s north coast.
The Australian Maritime Safety Authority said the accident happened about 35 km north of Port Hedland just before midnight.
“A helicopter, which had two people on board, was on its way to the bulk carrier MV Squireship to collect a marine pilot and return them to the harbour when it ditched,” they said in a statement.
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“The marine pilot on board the MV Squireship witnessed the helicopter crash and immediately notified harbour control”
Four flares were also seen in the search area shortly after the crash.
Around 1 am, a pilot vessel picked up one of the helicopter’s crew members who was injured but safe in a crew life raft. He was taken to Port Hedland Hospital.
The second crew member who was piloting the helicopter at the time is still missing.
Seven aircraft, including AMSA’s Perth Challenger jet, and seven vessels including four tug boats are involved in the search for the missing helicopter pilot today.
WA Police, Volunteer Marine Rescue Port Hedland, Port Hedland Harbour Master and Vessel Traffic Services, and the helicopter pilot company are also assisting.