SA paramedic killed in United Arab Emirates helicopter crash
A search-and-rescue paramedic from SA was among four people who died when a helicopter spun out of control and crashed in the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
The search-and-rescue chopper may have crashed after clipping the world’s longest zipline in Ras Al Khaimah on Saturday, according to reports by The Nation.
The National Search and Rescue Centre said the deceased pilots were Saqr Saeed Mohamed Abdullah Al Yamahi and Hameed Mohamed Obaid Al Zaabi. Navigator Jasim Abdullah Ali Tunaiji and SA first-aid medic Mark Roxburgh were also killed.
Video footage showed the helicopter tumbling through the air before crashing and exploding.
Lindy-Lee Felix said in a post on Facebook on Sunday, “My biggest hero ... my brother ... Mark Gavin Roxburgh was killed in a tragic helicopter crash in … in the north-eastern region of the United Arab Emirates (UAE).
“He died on a rescue mission ... a tragic awful accident that has taken him from us. My heart breaks with the families of the three others who lost their lives. I have no words to describe the heartache ... We are beyond broken.”
Felix said she had taken to social media to honour her brother — a strong, courageous, selfless man. She said he had been a loving uncle, son and brother and a passionate father.
“The world is less a hero, as God has taken him home.
“My dear brother ... You have crossed the ultimate finishing line ... and you can now finally be at peace," she wrote.
The Nation said that Roxburgh had been working in the Middle East for several years before moving to the UAE to join Abu Dhabi Aviation as a search-and-rescue winchman and paramedic.
Abu Dhabi Aviation provided search-and-rescue support to the armed forces of the UAE, said The Nation.
It was widely speculated that the helicopter had clipped the zipline but the RAK Tourism Development Authority said that had yet to be confirmed and would form part of an air crash investigation.