Madagascar’s secretary of state for police was forced to swim for around 12 hours back to shore after a helicopter surveying a shipwreck off the island’s northeast coast plunged into the ocean.
Serge Gelle, along with other helicopter pilots, was on the ground to check the scene of a wreck that took place on Monday. It involved a wooden ship which sank into the Indian Ocean.
The minister was forced to swim to safety 12 hours after the plane crashed into the sea.
Gelle, 57, was filmed shortly after returning to Madagascar’s mainland, lying on a deck chair, exhausted and still in his military uniform. He managed to stay alive by turning one of the helicopter’s seats into a flotation device.
♦️Le GDI Serge GELLE, un des passagers de l’hélicoptère accidenté hier a été retrouvé sain et sauf ce matin du côté de Mahambo. ☑️ Les sapeurs sauveteurs de la #4°UPC ont également retrouvé le carcasse de l’hélicoptère au fond de la mer. pic.twitter.com/sP2abwTMwB
— Ministère de la Défense Nationale Madagascar (@MDN_Madagascar) December 21, 2021
“My time to die hasn’t come yet,”The minister and the military general stated that they were tired and cold but had not been hurt from the accident.
“He has always had great stamina in sport, and he’s kept up this rhythm as minister, just like a 30-year-old,”Zafisambatra Ravoavy, chief of police, said that he had praised the minister upon his return.
The helicopter’s police officer also made it safely to land. However, police and port officials still have two missing passengers.
It is thought that the shipwreck was a cargo vessel carrying 130 passengers. 64 deaths have been reported so far. Twenty people are still missing as the search continues for survivors.
According to investigators, the ship may have sunk after it was subjected to severe weather conditions. “technical problem”This left the ship at the mercy tidal forces and drove it off a reef.