Four people in the helicopter belonging to the 55m (180ft) yacht Lady Christine have escaped death after the aircraft was forced to make a crash landing over Penobscot Bay, Maine, USA, last weekend.

It is understood that after the crash all four aboard were able to free themselves and wade ashore. One passenger suffering neck pains was taken to a local hospital. US Coast Guard reports suggest that Lord Laidlaw, who owns Lady Christine, was piloting the helicopter at the time of the incident.

Lord Laidlaw is believed to be Scotland’s second richest person and worth an estimated £700m (about $1.2bn), made his fortune through the event organiser, Institute for International Research (IIR). Ironically, this company is now closely linked with the Informa Yacht Group – the organisers of the Monaco and Abu Dhabi Yacht Shows.

The yacht is understood to have been on an east coast cruise and the helicopter was later recovered by a commercial salvage company. An inquiry is to be held into the incident.
The case highlights safety and operating issues surrounding superyachts carrying helicopters.