03/12/2013 06:44 EDT | Updated 05/12/2013 05:12 EDT

Service to mark fourth anniversary of chopper crash off Newfoundland coast

ST. JOHN'S, N.L. - A memorial service is planned for today to mark the fourth anniversary of the Cougar helicopter crash that resulted in 17 deaths off the coast of Newfoundland and Labrador.

Robert Decker was the lone survivor when Cougar Flight 491 went down on March 12, 2009 while en route to an offshore oil platform after the helicopter lost oil in its main rotor gearbox.

Robert Wells, who headed up an inquiry into the disaster, says numerous safety improvements have been made in the offshore since the crash — though not all of his recommendations have been implemented.

One of the recommendations adopted was to end night flights of the helicopters.

That measure is being reviewed by the Canada-Newfoundland and Labrador Offshore Petroleum Board.

Another of Wells' recommendations called for a distinct safety agency to monitor the industry's practices, but that measure hasn't been accepted.

The memorial service for those who died is scheduled to be held today at 7 p.m. at the Salvation Army Citadel in St. John's.

(VOCM/The Canadian Press)