SVG AIR CRASH UPDATE: Aerial search called off; airline offers reward
Tuesday, November 28, 2006
The aerial search for the missing SVG Air aircraft has been discontinued but the local coast guard continues their search while SVG Air firmly believes that he two occupants of the aircraft are alive and has offered a reward for information.
Director of Airports Corsel Robertson told reporters Monday evening that air support for search and rescue were formally terminated last Saturday after six days of searching. However, the coast guard is continuing their search and Commander Tyrone James of the local Coast Guard announced that they are trying to source sonar technology to locate the wreckage. They have made requests to the United States, Venezuela, from the company Capital Signal in Trinidad, and Caribbean Undersea Adventure in the BVI.
The five-seat Aero Commander 500S disappeared between 6:51 and 6:55 pm on Sunday November 19 on final approach to the ET Joshua Airport. Onboard were capital Dominic Gonsalves and passenger Rasheed Ibrahim.
Managing Director of SVG Air Paul Gravel said that he was not giving up hope to find Dominic and Rasheed. He told reporters that he believes both men were wearing life jackets and were able to get out of the aircraft and swam ashore. Noting that this country has a diverse coastline he was of the belief that the currents may have taken the missing men a long way before they reach land and perhaps they swam ashore somewhere and hidden from view.
He said that private individuals, such as Barefoot Yacht Charters, have explored bays and caves over the last week. Swimmers have also explored the coasts and over 100 caves, some of which were so large that a truck could park in them.
He asked fishermen to keep a look out at the west and north west coast and those planters located in the La Soufriere Volcano vicinity to keep an eye out for anything related to the missing men and plane.
He has offered a $10,000 reward for credible information leading to the discovery of the men and the aircraft.
“People have gone missing on planes and have turned up weeks later, there is a remote chance they may be in Venezuela, Aruba, or Curacao. They could be on a Venezuelan fishing boat and nobody speaks English and they just continued their fishing trip and when they get back they just drop Dominic and Rasheed off on the first point,” said Gravel. “We are hoping for a phone call, failing that would continue efforts we still have not given up hope.”