Boat crews respond to helicopter crash in Russia’s Kurile Lake

Divers assist in the effort to locate eight missing people who were on board a helicopter that had crashed in Far East Russia's Kurile Lake on August 12, 2021. (Photo: Kronotsky Nature Reserve)

Patrol boat crews of the Kronotsky Nature Reserve in Far East Russia’s Kamchatka peninsula responded to a helicopter crash in Kurile Lake on Thursday, August 12.

The incident occurred when an Mi-8 helicopter carrying 13 passengers and three flight crew crashed into the lake after having earlier departed Saint Petersburg.

The aircraft sank nose-first and eventually ended up at a depth of 110 metres. Of the 16 people who were on board, only eight have been safely rescued as of Saturday, August 14.

Kronotsky Nature Reserve personnel aboard two boats arrived on-scene within minutes of the crash and pulled the eight survivors out of the water. Two of the survivors suffered injuries from the incident and have since been brought to hospital.

Russian media reports that efforts are ongoing to locate the eight missing people who were also on board the ill-fated aircraft.

Officials of the country’s emergencies ministry have meanwhile said that “several bodies” have been found near the helicopter’s wreckage at the bottom of the lake. However, no exact number of fatalities has yet been given.

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