FRIDAY, 9.30am: Police have announced they were told the helicopter had been fighting bushfires around Bega and Eden when it crashed into the dam.
The 47-year-old pilot was able to free himself from the aircraft and make his way to shore.
He was treated by NSW Ambulance paramedics for shoulder, back and ankle injuries, before being taken to the South East Regional Hospital in a stable condition.
Police said inquiries were continuing into the incident with the reservoir closed as a drinking supply, and alternative arrangements being managed by Bega Valley Shire Council.
An operation to recover the aircraft will be coordinated.
7pm: HAZMAT crews were able to cordon off the area and confirmed no fuel or oil had leaked from the aircraft, containment matting was positioned around the wreckage with recovery efforts unlikely until morning.
6.10pm: The Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed a Bell UH-1H aircraft conducting firefighting operations hit the water at Ben Boyd Reservoir, near Eden at 4pm. The pilot was the sole occupant and no injuries were reported. The Australian Transport Safety Bureau is investigating.
5.52pm: A HAZMAT crew has launched a boat to reach the submerged helicopter. Paramedics said the pilot was conscious, breathing and in a stable condition. He was taken to the South East Regional Hospital at Bega. The crash occurred in Ben Boyd Dam off Yarran Road on the western side of the Princes Highway. Essential Energy crews are at the scene turning off generators used to pump water from the dam. it is understood the generators will be moved to another water source to supply the local area.
5.30pm: A NSW Police spokesman said paramedics had taken a patient from the scene to a hospital. Emergency crews were alerted at about 4.05pm on Thursday, January 9. At about 4.05pm the pilot transmitted a Mayday message.
5.03: A helicopter conducting waterbombing for the NSW Rural Fire Service crashed into a dam near Eden on the Far South Coast on Thursday afternoon.
The NSW RFS advised the helicopter ditched into a dam at Edrom in the Ben Boyd National Park about 4pm.
The pilot was able to free himself from the helicopter and had safely reached the shore.
The helicopter was contracted to the NSW RFS and had been tasked to the Clyde Mountain fire.
Ambulances were responding to the scene.
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