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UPDATE:On Saturday, 15 May, NSRI Vaal Dam assisted Police divers, the SA Police Services, Midvaal Fire and Rescue Services and the South African Civil Aviation Authority to recover wreckage of a Robinson 44 helicopter submerged in the the Vaal dam near to Vaal Marina.The operation to recover wreckage of the aircraft was carried out successfully.The remains of one dog were recovered from wreckage by Police divers. One dog remains missing.NSRI commend all of the services that assisted at the site of this tragic accident.Our thoughts are with the families of the deceased in this difficult time.Jake Manten, NSRI Vaal Dam station commander, said:Just after 18h00, Friday, 14 May, NSRI Vaal Dam duty crew were alerted to reports of a helicopter accident on the Vaal Dam.ARCC (Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre) activated NSRI Vaal Dam, the SA Police Services, Netcare 911 ambulance services and ER24 ambulance services.NSRI launched the rescue craft Harveys Fibreglass.On arrival on the scene, near to the Vaal Marina, 200 meters off-shore, a Robinson R44 helicopter was found to have ditched in the Vaal Dam.A bystander, using a rowing craft, had recovered an adult female from wreckage and sadly she was declared deceased by paramedics.A Police Dive Unit, assisted by NSRI, scuba dived on wreckage and recovered the body of an adult male believed to be the pilot and sadly he was declared deceased by paramedics.The bodies of the deceased were taken into the care of Gauteng Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.It is believed that the helicopter was en route from Rand Airport to the Vaal Dam with a Johannesburg pilot, his sister and 2 dogs.An investigation has been opened by the CAA (Civil Aviation Authority).Police have opened an inquest docket.On Saturday NSRI Vaal Dam launched the NSRI rescue craft Harveys Fibreglass and Spirit of Round Table to assist Police divers, SA Police Services, a Police helicopter and Midvaal Fire and Rescue Services at the wreckage, under the guidance of the CAA.The remains of the 2 dogs have not yet been recovered and operations on the scene are continuing.Condolences are conveyed to family of the deceased.
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