As Defence continues the recovery operation of the MRH-90 Taipan helicopter that crashed near Lindeman Island, any hope of finding the remains of the aircrew seems to have been lost as families progress with funeral plans.
FILE PHOTO (7 August 2023): Defence Flight Safety Bureau safety investigator flight data recovery specialist Justin Galbraith (right) and an Australian Transport Safety Bureau investigator prepare the recovered MRH-90 Taipan voice and flight data recorder for transport at Whitsunday Islands. Photo by Corporal Lisa Sherman.
A Defence spokesperson said Defence’s priority remained to support the families of its fallen soldiers and to locate and recover as much of the wreckage as possible.
“As the families of the aircrew hold funeral services for their loved ones, Defence requests the privacy of the families, friends and community is respected during these very personal and difficult times,” a Defence spokesperson said.
“Defence is supporting the families of the aircrew – Captain Danniel Lyon, Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Warrant Officer Class Two Joseph Laycock, and Corporal Alexander Naggs – and continues to keep them updated on the operation as new details become available.
“During the course of the recovery operation, HMAS Huon, Australian Defence Vessel Reliant and Royal Australian Navy clearance divers recovered items including personal effects and wreckage from the MRH-90 Taipan, in addition to the voice and flight data recorder.
“The recovery operation has been conducted in an exceptionally challenging environment and has reached the point of requiring specialist equipment not available within the Australian Defence Force.
“Defence will engage a commercial contractor to assist with the completion of the recovery operation, and expects the commercial operator will commence work at the site on or about 22 August 2023.
“The commercial operator will work closely with the Australian Defence Force in support of the Queensland Police Service and Defence Flight Safety Bureau investigations.”
Defence said it does not expect to release any further information on the progress of the commercial contractor’s recovery operations until the work is complete.
If you are distressed by this news…
- The Defence Member and Family Helpline is the first point of call for Defence members and families seeking support, information or connection with their community. They can be reached 24 hours a day, seven days a week on 1800 624 608.
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