NEW DELHI, India — A helicopter carrying nine persons on board, including two pilots, made an emergency landing this morning on the Arabian Sea, one nautical mile away from ONGC offshore rig Sagar Kiran, according to a June 28 ONGC news release.
The Regional Contingency Plan (west) was immediately activated. The Indian Navy and Coast Guard were informed of the incident. ONGC vessels near the location were mobilized for search and rescue operation.
With prompt action, one person was rescued by lifeboat launched from ONGC Rig Sagar Kiran and four persons were rescued by ONGC's Malviya-16 standby vessel. Despite inclement weather conditions, the rescue operations were carried out swiftly.
The Indian Navy also deputed its vessels and chopper while the Coast Guard diverted its vessels and an aircraft.
Four persons rescued by a Navy chopper were brought to the base unconscious and taken to the hospital, where they did not survive.
"ONGC deeply mourns this tragic loss of lives," the release stated. "ONGC is reaching out to the affected families and extending all possible support."
According to a Reuters report, an ONGC spokesperson said the company's offshore exploration efforts were not impacted due to the incident. He also said the deceased including three ONGC employees and a contract worker.
An inquiry has been opened.