Canadian 'copter with 18 down in Atlantic
Mar 12,2009 00:00 by UPI

ST. JOHN'S, Newfoundland -- A Canadian helicopter with 18 people aboard crashed into the Atlantic Ocean Thursday morning during an oil platform shuttle off eastern Newfoundland.

Canadian Forces Lt. David Bowen told the Canadian Broadcasting Corp. a distress signal was received in Halifax, Nova Scotia, at 7:48 a.m. from the craft before it went down in heavy winds.

The military, coast guard and civilian ships responded along with a Hercules aircraft and four Cormorant helicopters, he said.

First responders said two people were spotted in a life raft but there was no sign of the helicopter, the CBC said.

The downed craft is owned by Cougar Helicopters, which is contracted to shuttle oil workers from offshore platforms in the Hibernia oil fields, some 200 miles east of Newfoundland, the report said.

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