Five people were rescued but one crew member was killed instantly when a helicopter crashed into the ocean near Shimen township, New Taipei City today, March 11. One crew member was rushed to hospital but later died.
The helicopter belonged to the Ministry of the Interior Airborne Division, and was carrying coast guard and shipping company engineers.
The Taiwan-registered freighter came aground yesterday after losing power in rough conditions. Taiwan has been under the influence of a severe continental cold front for the last few days. The hull of the ship was breached, causing the ship to tilt. The crew of 21 was airlifted to safety yesterday, while 6 engineers were landed on the ship to inspect the damage and the cause of the oil leak. The engineers were being airlifted off the ship when the helicopter began to spin and lose altitude. The rotors appeared to hit the containers on the ship, and the helicopter plunged into the ocean.
The helicopter was a Airbus Helicopters AS365 Dauphin (Dolphin). This evening the wreckage was retrieved, and the high definition Go Pro camera was recovered. Investigators hope that it will help them determine the cause of the crash.
Bystanders on the shore recorded the incident on a cellphone camera.