Inquiry to hear from family members of workers who died in Cougar helicopter crash

Staff ~ The Telegram
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Today the Wells inquiry into offshore helicopter safety will hear from family members of offshore workers who died in the March 12 crash of Cougar Flight 491.

Appearing are: Sharon Pike, wife of 49-year-old Paul PIke of Shearstown, and their two children Andrea and Stephen; Marilyn Nash, wife of 44-year-old Burch Nash originally from Fortune; and Lori Chynn, wife of 41-year-old John Pelley of Deer Lake.

Seventeen passengers and crew were killed in the crash.

One man, Robert Decker, survived the crash. He appeared at the Wells inquiry in early November, describing how he escaped from the submerged helicopter and awaited rescue in the North Atlantic.

The helicopter plunged into the ocean as it was returning to St. John's on an aborted flight to the White Rose and Hibernia oilfields. The flight turned back when the pilot reported an oil-pressure problem.

Led by Commissioner Robert Wells, the inquiry's mandate is to find ways to make helicopter travel safer for offshore workers who travel to and from the offshore oilfields off Newfoundland

On Thursday afternoon, Lana Payne, president of the Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour, is scheduled to make a presentation to the inquiry.

Organizations: Cougar Flight 491, Newfoundland and Labrador Federation of Labour

Geographic location: Cougar, Deer Lake, North Atlantic St. John's White Rose Newfoundland

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