Sunday, June 19, 2005

From: Chairman Shell Malaysia

To: All Shell Malaysia Staff
Date: 19th June 2005

Subject: Helicopter Incident - All Passengers & Crew Safe

Dear Colleague,

You will have heard the news by now of Saturday's incident involving one of our MHS contracted Super Puma helicopters. I am delighted to confirm that all eleven (11) passengers and two (2) pilots onboard managed to safely evacuate the helicopter.

I would like to give you some further details of the incident, which I will cover during our Town Hall engagement session at 09:30 hrs Monday morning in Mulu Hall, Miri. In the meantime I hope the following briefing is useful.

The Incident

During the early afternoon of Saturday 18th June 2005, a helicopter on a routine crew-change flight, was en-route from Miri to B11, offshore Sarawak, when it encountered technical difficulties and made a controlled emergency landing into the water. Soon after hitting water, the helicopter turned over.

Applying their survival training, the thirteen men exited the aircraft through the emergency exits and climbed into a life raft that had been deployed immediately after the helicopter landed on the water.

Immediate Response
Our emergency response team was immediately activated to ensure that the passengers and crew were quickly located and safely evacuated.

The passengers and crew were taken to B-11 by standby vessel and later flown to Miri for observation and treatment. As of noon Sunday, ten men had been discharged from hospital, while three were kept back for observation. All are progressing well. All family members of the passengers and crew were immediately notified; I would like to thank family members for their tremendous support during the search and rescue operations.

Way Forward
Malaysia's Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) will undertake the investigation into the cause of the incident. Shell Malaysia and MHS Aviation are providing all the necessary assistance required until the cause of the accident is uncovered.

The two other MHS helicopters on contract to us are on Safety Stand Down - they are being rigorously inspected and flight-tested to assure us of their safety, before routine flights recommence. During this period, which we expect to take several days, crew changes via helicopters will be affected. Alternative logistics arrangements are being made, of which staff will be advised. Safety of all our people is of the highest importance and priority -we must do everything we can to prevent a similar incident from recurring.

Please be assured the Safety Stand Down will not affect any emergency requirements including MEDEVAC's, and in such event a helicopter will be mobilised immediately. Arrangements are being made to acquire a replacement helicopter; in the meantime I request that flying - when resumed - is limited to operational requirements only.

We need to continue to focus on the highest safety standards in every aspect of our operations. This is further demonstrated by the fact that all rescued passengers mentioned that the HUET safety training and the pre-flight Safety Briefing were key factors in their survival.

While we are fortunate we escaped fatalities, we owe a great deal to our rigorous safety and survival training and frequent safety briefings for the safety of all thirteen men. The MHS pilots have also been commended for their professionalism in the most challenging of circumstances.

I would also like to register my sincere thanks to all staff that spent the past two days working to ensure the well being of the 13 men, and the comfort and assurance of their family members. Staff involved in the Rescue and Emergency Response performed magnificently. Thank you so much.

I undertake to provide updates as soon as I am able to.

I also request all Contract Holders to please also cascade this EI immediately to our Contractors and their staff.

I suggest we all take a moment to reflect on how precious life is. Please take the time to think about and discuss safety with a colleague today.

Datuk Jon Chadwick
Chairman, Shell Malaysia

Kindly refer all queries to Rajiv Bharatan SARAWAK-EPA-PM-LOAV.

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