One offshore worker on board the Super Puma last night described the experience as one of the safest landings he has had.
Jorn Gudbrandsgard, from Norway, praised the efforts of the two pilots that brought the helicopter down safely.
The 42-year-old said good piloting skills ensured the safety of the 17 passengers.
He said: “It felt very controlled to me. It was a very safe landing with experienced pilots.
“When they set the chopper down it was the safest landing I have ever had.”
Mr Gudbrandsgard said he initially did not realise what was happening, and thought the chopper was beginning its normal descent.
He said: “We had been slowing down so I thought it was about time to start descending. I felt that it was different, that we had lost a bit of power but I thought they had left the throttle off a bit.
“It is never the same feeling chopper to chopper, all the journeys are different.”
Mr Gudbrandsgard realised something was wrong only when an announcement was made.
He said: “I thought we were descending but then there was an announcement. I couldn’t hear what it was saying – the only word I heard was ditching. I saw from the faces of the others that it was something that was not normal.”
From that moment, the crew readied themselves, putting on jackets and gloves, checking their safety harnesses and getting into the crash position.
Mr Gudbrandsgard said: “I had a bad feeling then and thought this was it. Then it was going down. We were really going to be in the water.
“Then we saw a tanker close by so I thought it was not a bad place to be as they set the chopper down.”
Mr Gudbrandsgard said the crew struggled to fully open the doors of the helicopter, because a rope was jamming them.
But once the passengers were out of the helicopter, he said the rest of the experience felt like a drill. He added: ” There was no stress and no panic. It was like the drills we practise.”