A Guyana Adventist Medical Aviation Services plane with two persons and a body on board crashed landed in the Nismes, West Bank of Demerara area on February 17, 2019. One of the survivors was the policeman on board.
Mark Grimond recalled the horrifying events from his bed in the St. Joseph Mercy hospital suffering a broken jaw, a fractured nose, cuts and bruises about his body all resulting from the plane crash he survived.
The single engine aircraft departed the North West region destined for the Eugene F Correia International Airport. Grimond was escorting the body to the city.
Grimond recalled the pilot looked at the fuel gauge and assured him there was enough to take them back to the city. After crossing the Essequibo River, the plane cut off. At this point, “I locked my seatbelt and held on.”
The engine failure caused the pilot to panic, Grimond said. In his panic he then let go of the steering control causing the plane to tilt, he added.
The tilted plane’s wing then connected with a tree, causing it to spin until it e landed. Mark Grimond recalled thinking his life was over as the plane went down.
He said that he was knocked unconscious and cannot recall the landing.
The policeman said that upon regaining consciousness he loosed his seatbelt, then kicked out the window of the plane and crawled through.
After exiting the plane he heard moaning coming from the front of the plane. The plane was upside down at this point. Grimond said that he climbed over the plane and pulled the moaning pilot out of the wrecked plane.
He said that he then tried to console the pilot who was complaining in regret.
Knowing the possible dangers of being in wetlands at night Mark Grimond ventured into a tree, carefully positioning his phone on a branch above him. He connected his headphone and began contacting help.
He relayed their approximate location; this was around 6:00pm. By this time they should have arrived in the city.
He said that concerned persons at this time began calling to find out where they were and what might be taking them so long.
The pilot and policeman sat and awaited the rescue party. Grimond said that while waiting he improvised using his shirt to strap his broken jaw and pulled the dead body out leaving it on the wing of the plane.
Grimond shot four to five flares in total before being rescued.
The rescue helicopter arrived on scene, as Grimond waved to signal their location. Due to the harsh vegetation the helicopter was unable to land at the crash site. The pilot was forced to land elsewhere and trek back to the crashed plane.
The last flare was fired when the rescue team arrived and began trekking to the location. The rescue team had to chop through raw bush to gain access to where the over turned plane was, according to Grimond.
The soldiers on the ground lifted the men away from the crash site. They returned for the body the next day.
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