Man from Latvia among North Sea crash victims

One of the 16 people on board a helicopter that crashed April 1 into the North Sea was a resident of Latvia, police in Scotland have confirmed.

Mihails Žuravskis, 39, is the last person whose identity was released by Aberdeen-based Grampian Police. He was an employee of KCA Deutag Drilling Ltd., police said.

KCA Deutag, which has its headquarters in Aberdeen, confirmed Žuravskis’ identity in an April 3 press release. He was one of 10 company employees traveling in the helipcopter.

“One of KCA Deutag’s management team has been mobilized to Latvia to join the local authorities in supporting Mihails’ next-of-kin,” the company said in the press release.

The cause of the crash is under invesigation, but KCA Deutag said in a press release that weather conditions were not good at the time of the accident.

The helicopter belonged to Bond Offshore Helicopters. Grampian Police said the aircraft, a Eurocopter AS332L2 Super Puma helicopter, crashed in the North Sea approximately 14 miles from Rattray Head, or 38 miles northeast of Aberdeen. The helicopter, chartered by energy company BP, was returning to Aberdeen from the Miller platform in the North Sea.

The others on board, including the pilot and co-pilot, were residents of the United Kingdom. Eight of the bodies have been recovered, police said. At one point, 30 boats and helicopters were involved in the search, which ended April 2. The U.K. Air Accidents Investigation Branch is now working to salvage the wreckage and recover the helicopter’s cockpit voice and flight data recorder.

Andris Straumanis is a special correspondent for and a co-founder of Latvians Online. From 2000–2012 he was editor of the website.

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