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Two Survive, Five Perish In Guyana Army Helicopter Crash

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On Thursday, the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) confirmed that two officers survived and five died in a Bell 412 helicopter crash in the mountains of the Mazaruni area.

When it disappeared on Wednesday, the aircraft’s seven occupants were on a mission to visit troops on Guyana’s western border.

The incident triggered a massive search and rescue operation, which the army sometimes had to suspend due to inclement weather.

The army identified those on board the helicopter as Brigadier (Ret’d) Gary Beaton, Colonel Michael Shahoud, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Lieutenant Andio Crawford, Staff Sergeant Jason Khan, and Corporal Dwayne Jackson.

The GDF said only Lieutenant Andio Crawford and Corporal Wayne Jackson survived.

According to the GDF, two search and rescue-capable helicopters made three attempts to extract those at the crash site, prioritsing the two survivors.

However, the GDF explained that persistent severe weather thwarted the efforts.

Nevertheless, the rescue team, including medical personnel, remained at the site, supporting the two survivors.

The GDF said rescue and recovery operations would resume on Friday at the earliest opportunity.

President Dr. Irfaan Ali extended condolences.

“My heart pains and drowns in sorrow at the tragic loss of some of our finest men in uniform,” Ali, the GDF Commander-in-Chief, wrote on Facebook.

“I call upon all of us to hold these men, their families, the GDF and our country in our prayers,” he stated.

Headline photo: Officers who perished in Guyana army helicopter crash (Image courtesy President Ali’s Facebook page)

 

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3 COMMENTS

  1. First an foremost the Guyana Defense Force is highly under resource, those choppers are well outdated given in context what is currently happening. Imagine if they were doing border patrol and it went down, you know what a premature war or disaster this could have spew out to. Guyana have no artilleries whatsoever to fight a ground battle and air. The GDF relied heavily on allies to come to their rescue if any war should break out with the Bolivar republic. What baffles me is the Jagdeo led government for 25 yrs doesn’t seems interested in that aspect. He pilfer and only covert himself and associates to quik riches, but it’s all over in the Caribbean as well. It’s so sad these gentle men perish in the line of duty. Souls RIP

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