Po­lice Find More Wreck­age

BOD­IES OF PI­LOT GIL­BERT PARKER AND TWO-YEAR-OLD BABY STILL MISS­ING

Fiji Sun - - Nation - SHALVEEN CHAND Photo: Shalveen Chand Edited by Naisa Koroi

The Fiji Po­lice search team have found more parts of the he­li­copter wreck­age and life jack­ets near Bi­au­gunu Vil­lage in Cakau­drove, late yes­ter­day af­ter­noon.

This is the lat­est find­ings, three days af­ter the he­li­copter, in­bound from Naitauba Is­land, is be­lieved to have crashed in Natewa Bay, Vanua Levu.

Ac­cord­ing to a res­i­dent of Van­u­avou, Amini­asi Ka­tonivua­liku, he found the items from the wreck­age.

“I found the baby’s life­jacket

washed to the shore,” the for­mer Po­lice of­fi­cer said.

“The woman was found still wear­ing the life­jacket, but I only found the baby’s life­jacket.” Mr Ka­tonivua­liku is help­ing the Po­lice in their search. Taraivosa Mo­ceisuva’s body was found near Nave­tau Vil­lage on Satur­day morn­ing and since then two fuel tanks, he­li­copter seats and buoy­ancy de­vices have been found.

The bod­ies of he­li­copter pi­lot Gil­bert Parker and the two-year-old are yet to be found.

In­de­pen­dent avi­a­tion in­ves­ti­ga­tor An­drew McGre­gor said the fo­cus now was pre­serv­ing the ev­i­dence found so far.

“We are very early in the in­ves­ti­ga­tion process. My re­spon­si­bil­ity is that the wreck­age and ev­i­dence that has been found is dis­turbed as lit­tle as pos­si­ble,” he said. “There has been an ap­prox­i­mate flight path and we have been work­ing through that. The parts that have been found are only the mi­nor parts, it isn’t re­ally enough to help at this stage.

“At the mo­ment our fo­cus is quite broad. We have to keep our in­ter­est broad in or­der to un­der­stand and com­pre­hend what’s be­fore us.” Mr McGreg­gor said there was a pos­si­bil­ity that the ma­jor por­tion of the he­li­copter may still be sub­merged.

He said the Fi­jian au­thor­i­ties were do­ing a good job so far. Mean­while, the Res­cue Com­mand Cen­tre Fiji was un­able to lo­cate the he­li­copter’s bea­con af­ter a fly­over search con­ducted yes­ter­day morn­ing. The wait now is for the Re­pub­lic of Fiji Mil­i­tary Forces Navy ves­sels to ar­rive so that a search could be con­ducted us­ing equip­ment on board.

The Po­lice con­ducted their search in the Natewa Bay and along the coast of Vanua Levu, and will con­tinue to do so to­day.

Crash in­ves­ti­ga­tor An­drew McGreg­gor (right), dis­cussing pos­si­ble flight path­ways with res­cue per­son­nel on Au­gust 5, 2019.

Pi­lot Gil­bert Parker (whose body is yet to be found), with the Robin­son ‘R’44 he­li­copter, reg­is­tra­tion DQ- HPT.

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