NEWS
12/05/2017 08:33 BST

Three Britons Injured After Helicopter Plunges Off Superyacht In Norway

Three Britons have been injured after a helicopter reportedly plunged off a superyacht in Norway.

The Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) said the trio were hurt on Wednesday, in what was believed to be a botched landing.

Images show the aircraft being hoisted out of the fjord in Bergen, on the south-west coast of the Scandinavian country. 

According to reports, the helicopter had attempted to land on the luxury Bacarella yacht, but lost control when a tarpaulin became entangled in the rotors. 

An FCO spokesman said: "We can confirm that three British people were injured in an incident in Bergen, Norway on May 10.

"We are offering assistance to them and remain in close contact with Norwegian authorities."

Bergen resident Jan Haughland, 48, was taking photographs of a tall ship in the fjord when he heard a "crash and splash in one".

He told the Press Association: "It was exactly at sunset and I was concentrating on the tall ship when I heard the crash.

"I was slow to realise what had happened at first. There is a lot of shipping and helicopters flying over the harbour normally and I thought maybe someone had dropped something overboard.

"The yacht was around 500 to 700 metres from where I was standing and I noticed all the rescue boats moving really fast towards it."

Mr Haughland said up to five boats raced to the scene, including a passing passenger ferry that diverted from its course.

"It can't have been more than five minutes before they arrived, it all happened very fast."

The casualties began arriving at the quayside around an hour after the incident, he said.

"I think there were three ambulances and the critically injured person received emergency care on the boat before he was taken."

The computer programmer said it was a "mystery" who the boat was owned by or who was on board.

There are usually "two or three really big luxury yachts" in the harbour at any time and he believed the Bacarella had arrived at least three days before the incident.

"It's a popular place to visit for the very, very rich," Mr Haughland said.

Kara Lynsdale, from London, was aboard the Statsraad Lehmkuhl Tall Ship in Bergen harbour with her parents when she saw the incident unfold.

The 30-year-old said: "We sort of looked to our left and just saw this helicopter just fall into the sea.

"I literally saw it when it was quite low - it didn't seem to fall from a great height or anything - I saw it while it was about in line with the boat."

She added: "It just looked like it fell, it kind of just splashed into the water... It almost looked like it rolled off the boat, or hadn't landed properly on the boat and missed it.

"It fell from such a low height that it just plunged - it sank straight away."

Miss Lynsdale said she saw a person being given CPR while being jetted across the harbour on a boat.

"A lifeboat came past with crew inside the boat giving someone CPR... it was quite shocking to see them bomb past giving someone CPR in the back of the boat."

She praised the fast response of vessels in the harbour and said she was not sure if the people escaped from the helicopter themselves or were rescued.