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Not Just Another Fish Story

January 23, 1985

NEW ORLEANS (AP) _ A shrimp boat trawling in the Gulf of Mexico landed a whopper when it snared a 21/2 -ton helicopter in its nets.

Capt. Timothy Wiseman said that his three-member crew caught the HCI Helicopters Inc. craft in a trawl Friday night while shrimping.

The copter had gone down in the Gulf on Jan. 4 after developing engine trouble while flying between oil well platforms about 15 miles south of Grand Isle, HCI spokesman Phil Mayeaux said. The pilot and the only passenger were rescued unharmed.

″We were scared,″ Wiseman said on Monday. ″We thought they might have bodies on it.″

It took two hours to land the helicopter. The boat is a 102-foot trawler, and the copter was caught in one of four, 54-foot-wide nets.

It nearly tore the net in two and freed a catch of shrimp.

It wasn’t the first time the familiy has made such a haul. Tammy Helmer, Wiseman’s sister, said her husband Rusty caught a Petroleum Helicopters Inc. craft in 1982.

The rusting shell of that helicopter sits on the bank near where Wiseman and Helmer dock their boats.

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