Surviving soldiers still at crash site; ‘strenuous efforts’ being made to fly them to Georgetown
The two surviving Guyana Defence Force (GDF) soldiers from Wednesday’s crash involving an army helicopter are still at the crash site, about nine miles southeast of “Blake Slater’s” airstrip, Ekereku Top, Cuyuni River.
The Guyana Police Force in a statement Thursday night said the survivors are being attended to by the rescue team while strenuous efforts are being made to have them and the bodies of five other servicemen flown to Georgetown.
The two survivors are Corporal Dwayne Jackson and Lieutenant Andio Crawford.
In a separate statement, the GDF said two search and rescue-capable helicopters provided by Omni made three attempts to extract those at the crash site, with priority given to the two survivors. These efforts were, however, thwarted by the persistent severe weather over the site.
See below the full statement from the GPF:
Pursuant to a report of a missing aircraft property of the Guyana Defence Force (GDF) along with several servicemen on board, on 2023-12-07 about 14:27 hrs, the crash site was located by one of the rescue teams from the Guyana Defence Force about 9 Miles South East of “Blake Slater’s” airstrip, Ekereku Top, Cuyuni River.
Consequently, a member from the rescue team confirmed and reported to the high command of the Joint services that there were two survivors, namely, Corporal Dwayne Jackson and Lieutenant Andio Crawford.
Moreover, tragically and unfortunately, the bodies of the other five members of the GDF were found motionless.
The survivors are being attended to by the rescue team while strenuous efforts are being made to have the two survivors and the servicemen whose motionless bodies were found, flown to Georgetown.
Among the motionless bodies identified by the search team were Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Colonel Michael Shahoud, Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome and Sergeant Jason Khan.
The investigation surrounding the circumstances of the crashed aircraft is ongoing.