Anyone who has ever worked offshore can commiserate with possibility of a helicopter ditching over water. Although oilfield workers train for these eventualities its difficult to imagine an underwater escape from a helicopter in one of the most inhospitable oceans anywhere.
So far the coast guard have found one survivor. Really really really hope they find the other 17.
As of today there are still 16 missing, 1 survivor in intensive care, and 1 confirmed dead. The helicopter was a Sikorsky S-92, a very modern heliocopter. The search has located 2 life rafts which were both empty. Its looking very bad now for anyone still in the water - their survival suits are only good for about 24 hours under good conditions: 3 m seas and 30 knot winds are hardly ideal.
The survival suits are equipped with emergency transponders which activate upon contact with water. So far of the sixteen possible transponders not one has been activated. This would suggest to me that all of the missing passengers never made it out of the chopper.
Hope I'm wrong.
I find this very disturbing, terrifying even.