Yorkshire helicopter crash victims named

Two men who died in a helicopter crash off the coast of Flamborough have been named by the police.

Thursday, 18th September 2014, 1:55 pm
Emergency services were launched after a helicopter crashed into the sea near the cliffs at Flamborough Head, East Yorks. Pic: Ross Parry/SWNS

The pilot was Brian Bridgman, 58, of Canterbury, Kent and the passenger was John Kent, 50, of Romford, Essex.

The investigation into the crash that saw the helicopter ditch into the sea off the coast of East Yorkshire is being led by the Air Accident Investigation Branch (AAIB) who are working alongside Humberside Police.

The AAIB said they are continuing to offer support to the families of the two men.

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A major recovery operation was sparked after the crash and witnesses reported hearing a loud “crack” before watching the helicopter plummet into the sea below sheer 250 foot high cliffs.

The bodies were recovered shortly before 5pm, more than three hours after the accident.

The helicopter had taken off from an airfield near Edinburgh and was due to refuel at Humberside Airport before continuing to its destination near Retford, Nottinghamshire.

The RNLI lifeboat crew battled high seas in an attempt to reach the crash site.

The crew from Flamborough RNLI and a second boat from Bridlington were told to abandon the rescue mission and instead search the bay for wreckage.

Flamborough RNLI crew member Cole Ibbotson said: ‘We could see the wreckage of the helicopter at the bottom of the cliff and could see where it had hit.

“The swell was too big for the lifeboat to get in close so we were tasked to undertake a search pattern for wreckage with Bridlington all-weather lifeboat. We recovered a number of items which we have passed on to the police.

‘We are all devastated that this service didn’t have a positive outcome and that we couldn’t help the people on board the helicopter. Our thoughts and sympathy are very much with their family and friends tonight.”

Chris Palmer, 33, a builder from Dunswell, East Yorkshire, spoke of his horror at witnessing the crash.

He said: “I was with my parents, we all saw the helicopter flying along the coastline, we heard a big crack and saw the helicopter start to descend like a plane and go behind the cliffs.

“By the time I got to the cliffs, there was no sign of it because it had gone under the water. We’re in shock that it’s happened. It’s an absolute tragedy.”