Helicopter Search Continues [press release]

| April 23, 2014 | 0 Comments

A search and rescue team has been dispatched to look for a Botswana Police Service (BPS) helicopter that went missing on Sunday April 20 with three crew members on board. The helicopter went missing while returning from Gumare to Maun in the evening.

Commissioner of Police, Mr Keabetswe Makgophe told a press conference on Tuesday April 22, that crew members were two pilots and an airborne law enforcement officer. The crew, which was on routine duty in the Okavango area, reportedly left Gumare for Maun at 710 pm.

A search and rescue team has been dispatched to look for a Botswana Police Service (BPS) helicopter that went missing on Sunday April 20 with three crew members on board.

The helicopter went missing while returning from Gumare to Maun in the evening.

Commissioner of Police, Mr Keabetswe Makgophe told a press conference on Tuesday April 22, that crew members were two pilots and an airborne law enforcement officer.

The crew, which was on routine duty in the Okavango area, reportedly left Gumare for Maun at 710 pm.

Mr Makgophe said a search and rescue team, aboard aircrafts, boats and vehicles, combed the area in an effort to locate the helicopter and the crew.

A rescue coordination centre has been established in Gaborone while a joint operations centre was set up in Maun to coordinate the search and rescue mission.

The police chief appealed to members of the public, particularly those around the Okavango area, to assist in whatever way they could to locate the crew and the helicopter.

Mr Makgophe said it was too early to divulge much information, as some of the things were technical, adding that their priority was for the search and rescue team to locate the missing officers.

However, he said the weather and crew members were in sound conditions on the day of the incident.

He was not in a position to disclose when the crew could have lost communication with the radar nor could he state the last words which they said.

Mr Makgophe said relatives of the missing crew had been informed of the situation and he appreciated their cooperation.

Two of the crew members are men while one is a woman, but Mr Makgophe could not reveal their names and place of origin as he said this could raise uneasiness and anxiety among their families and colleagues.

Mr Makgophe said they had no reason to suspect foul play as they did not have enough details.

The disappeared helicopter is one of the two that are based in Gaborone while the third one is based in Francistown. Botswana Police Service uses AF 350 B3. BOPA

Source : Government of Botswana

Category: Governance

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