One dead as helicopter ditches into loch

The 58-year-old died after the AS350 Squirrel aircraft plunged into the loch between Lochmaddy and Clachan Na Luib on North Uist at about 10.15am on Wednesday.

Officers from the Air Accidents Investigation Branch are travelling to the Outer Hebrides island off the west coast of Scotland.

No other people are believed to have been on board the PDG Aviation-owned helicopter, which was working for the Scottish Salmon Company, at the time of the crash.

Local roads were forced to close as police and ambulance crews attended the incident.

The A867, which crosses the island, was shut between the villages of Lochmaddy and Clachan Na Luib.

A PDG Aviation spokesman said: “I am able to confirm it was one of our aircraft.

“It was out working at the time for the Scottish Salmon Company, but it was not carrying salmon.

“We want to work with the authorities to help in investigation and find out exactly what happened.”

The Scottish Salmon Company‘s website says it is a sea loch salmon farming business which sells about 25,000 tonnes of “premium Scottish salmon a year to over 25 countries around the world”.

A Scottish Ambulance Service spokesman said: “We received a call at 10.22am to attend an incident at North Uist.

“We dispatched two ambulances and a team leader to the scene.”

Loganair said delays were possible to some of its flights.

A spokesman said: “We are aware there has been a helicopter incident in North Uist and our thoughts are with all those affected.

“Please be advised the incident is impacting upon journey times to/from Benbecula Airport.”