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RNLI footage of lifeboat crew attempts to reach helicopter

Footage of a lifeboat crew battling high seas in attempt to reach the site of the fatal helicopter crash has been released by the RNLI.

The video shows the four-man crew attempting to get closer to the wreckage of the aircraft before being forced to pull back from the coastline.

An RAF helicopter hovers over the scene of the crash, which killed two people.

We could see the wreckage of the helicopter at the bottom of the cliff and could see where it had hit. The swell was too big for the lifeboat to get in close so we were tasked to undertake a search pattern for wreckage with Bridlington all-weather lifeboat. We recovered a number of items which we have passed on to the police. We are all devastated that this service didn't have a positive outcome and that we couldn't help the people on board the helicopter. Our thoughts and sympathy are very much with their family and friends tonight.

– Cole Ibbotson, Flamborough RNLI crew member

Two men killed in helicopter crash

Two men were killed in a helicopter crash in East Yorkshire, police have confirmed.

The helicopter, which had two men on board at the time, was a private charter flying from an airfield near Edinburgh to its final destination near Retford.

Emergency services including the Air Ambulance, the Coast Guard and Air Sea Rescue attended the area right away and a search was carried out which resulted in the helicopter being located in the sea off the coast of Flamborough near the light house.

Two men were recovered from the aircraft shortly before 1700hrs. Both sadly deceased.

– Police statement

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Helicopter 'disappeared over the edge of cliffs'

Rod Marwood, 67, course chairman at Flamborough Head Golf Club, said he was about 400 yards away when the helicopter crashed:

There were quite a few members out on the course and we see helicopters flying backwards and forwards all the time. This one was just a small, two to four seater one flying along. I didn't really take much notice of it when all of a sudden the engine noise changed. When I looked, it was already starting to bank a little bit. I thought it was trying to land on the edge of the golf course but it disappeared over the side of the cliffs.

I didn't hear anything but I think it hit the cliffs before it went into the sea and then there was a smell of aviation fuel.

Mr Marwood said the site of the crash was at the bottom of 250 foot high sheer cliffs.

Emergency services at scene of helicopter crash

Emergency rescue services on scene after the helicopter crash. Credit: SWNS

Coastguard, police and ambulances are all working at the scene of a helicopter crash in East Yorkshire.

The helicopter was seen crashing off the coast near Flamborough at 1.40pm today, Humberside Police said.

Emergency rescue services on scene after the helicopter crash. Credit: SWNS
Emergency rescue services on scene after the helicopter crash. Credit: SWNS
Emergency rescue services on scene after the helicopter crash. Credit: SWNS
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Crashed private helicopter was en route to Humberside airport

A helicopter which crashed near Flamborough Head was a private flight from Durham Tees Valley Airport, it is reported.

The flight was heading for Humberside Airport.

Paul Litten, commercial director for the airport, told the Scunthorpe Telegraph:

This was a private flight from Durham Tees Valley and was due to arrive with our air traffic controllers later this afternoon.

Police and the coast guard are dealing with the emergency.

I knew it was due in and heard that an aircraft emergency had been called. Our thoughts are with the people on board.

Details about the number of people aboard the helicopter are yet to be revealed.

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Coastguard officer winched down to assess crash site

The aircraft is believed to have been returning to Humberside Airport when the incident occurred.

The Humber Maritime Rescue Coordination Centre received a call at 1340 this afternoon that a small helicopter had gone into the water below the cliff, between the lighthouse and Flamborough Head Golf Course.

A coastguard officer was winched down to assess the crash site by the search and rescue helicopter from Leconfield.

– Maritime and Coastguard Agency

Helicopter eye-witnesses 'heard loud crack' before crash

Eye-witness Chris Palmer said he heard a loud "crack" and the helicopter disappeared out of sight behind the cliffs. He told BBC Radio 5 Live:

We heard the helicopter. It was like a white, private helicopter going along the coast. We all heard this really loud crack and looked up again. The helicopter started to descend, almost like a plane when it lands. It then went behind the cliff and that's when I called the emergency services. I never actually heard it hit the sea.

Chris Feast, from Flamborough Head Golf Club, said a number of golfers had spotted a helicopter trying to land near the 17th green and then reported hearing a "loud bang and crash".

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