1 dead after logging helicopter crashes on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast

·1 min read
A Kaman K-Max K-1200 helicopter is pictured during tree felling works in Zurich, Switzerland on Dec. 17, 2019. A K-Max helicopter similar to the one pictured crashed on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast on Monday. (Arnd Wiegmann/REUTERS - image credit)
A Kaman K-Max K-1200 helicopter is pictured during tree felling works in Zurich, Switzerland on Dec. 17, 2019. A K-Max helicopter similar to the one pictured crashed on B.C.'s Sunshine Coast on Monday. (Arnd Wiegmann/REUTERS - image credit)

One person has died after a helicopter crashed into the ocean Monday on British Columbia's Sunshine Coast, according to the RCMP.

Officials confirmed the helicopter went down around 2 p.m. PT in the area near Killam Bay, at the entrance to Jervis Inlet, around 40 kilometres north of Sechelt, B.C.

"Witnesses in the area were the first on scene and some debris of the helicopter was located, but the lone occupant and pilot was not," read a statement from RCMP on Tuesday.

"A search was conducted in the area without success."

The aircraft was being used for heli-logging, according to the Transportation Safety Board (TSB).

The TSB sent an investigator to Nanaimo, B.C., on Tuesday to gather information and assess what happened.

Spokesperson Chris Krepski said the helicopter was a Kaman K-MAX aircraft, which is designed to lift more than half its own weight and has been used commercially for logging since the 1990s.

Helicopter appeared to have sunk quickly, witness says

On Monday, Jarvis Gray, a driver with with High Tide Tours & Water Taxi in Egmont, said he heard a call come in on his radio saying that a helicopter had gone down in the area.

Gray said he was about five minutes away from the scene at the time, so he jumped in his boat to see if he could help. He was the first one to discover the wreckage.

The only thing he saw when he arrived were three pieces of rotor blade sticking out of the water.

"I imagine everything else had sunk by that point. And really, there wasn't anything left to see," Gray told CBC.

The B.C. Coroners Service is also investigating the pilot's death.

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