The helicopter passengers were searching for survivors of a serious boat accident when the plane itself hit the water. The Minister of Police managed to jump out of the helicopter and swim to the beach, using the helicopter’s floating seat as the sole accessory.
A video circulating on social media makes Serge Guelleh, the 57-year-old Minister of Police Affairs of Madagascar, world famous in one fell swoop. He is lying on a beach chair and tells us he has a cold, but he is not hurt. “It is not yet time,” Gilly says, still in his uniform.
The helicopter headed for a boat accident with a cargo ship northeast of the island. At least 19 passengers were killed in the accident and 66 others are still missing. According to the Coast Guard, the ship was heavily overloaded and was not allowed to transport people at all. However, there were 130 passengers on board the ship.
Three boats arrived at the accident to search for survivors. The minister flew to oversee the research, followed by the defense minister and prime minister in a separate helicopter. It was not clear what caused the helicopter crash. The authorities say they are still searching for the other occupants.
Serge Guelleh worked in the Madagascar police for thirty years until he became a minister last August. Police chief Zavisambatra Ravoavi praised the minister, AFP, for “having nerves of steel”. “He always had great stamina and also continued to exercise as a minister, as if he was a man in his thirties.”
“Creator. Award-winning problem solver. Music evangelist. Incurable introvert.”