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Equinor’s investigation report following the helicopter accident in Øygarden is ready

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Photo: Harald Pettersen / Equinor

Equinor has conducted an internal investigation of the SAR helicopter accident on 28 February. The investigation aims to ensure that lessons are learned from the accident, and to identify actions and measures aimed at improving the company’s SAR service and accident preparedness.

This serious helicopter accident caused one Equinor employee to lose their life, while five Bristow employees were injured. The helicopter type was Sikorsky S-92 Search and Rescue (SAR), and it was engaged in a training exercise for Equinor when the accident occurred.

The Norwegian Safety Investigation Authority (NSIA) is responsible for mapping the course of events and the actual cause of the accident. In March, Equinor decided to conduct an internal investigation to capture its own lessons to be learned.

CEO Anders Opedal
CEO Anders Opedal

The investigation has been performed by an independent investigation group led by Equinor Corporate Audit & Investigation.

“It’s important that we examine this in depth to make sure we learn from this serious accident. The investigation has uncovered findings and points to specific improvement items that we will follow up to further strengthen Equinor’s SAR service and accident preparedness,” says CEO Anders Opedal.

The investigation report recommends measures within training and drills, protective equipment and coordinated action within the organisation as regards Equinor’s SAR service and accident preparedness. An additional recommendation is to conduct a new assessment of whether the measures implemented after the Turøy accident have had the expected long-term effect.

The investigation group makes it clear that the recommended actions do not provide a basis for drawing conclusions as to whether these factors have had an impact on the cause or the outcome of the incident.

Facts about Equinor’s internal investigation

The investigation group’s mandate has been to undertake a review of the following factors:

  • Equinor’s organisation and activities linked to Equinor’s SAR service
  • Equinor’s handling of reporting and preparedness aspects in connection with the incident, including coordination with the authorities and partners, business continuity
  • Equinor’s follow-up of recommendations and actions following the helicopter accident at Turøy in 2016

The investigation group’s recommendations are based on:

  • Interviews and conversations with internal and external groups associated with Equinor’s SAR service and accident preparedness
  • Anonymous survey of SAR nurses
  • Review of logs associated with the accident and the preparedness work
  • Review of documentation linked to Equinor’s SAR service and accident preparedness

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