Madagascar : un ministre a nagé ‘pendant 12 heures’ après un accident d’hélicoptère en mer

Un ministre du gouvernement malgache a déclaré avoir nagé pendant 12 heures pour rejoindre le rivage après que son hélicoptère s’est écrasé en mer lors d’une mission de sauvetage.

“Ce n’est pas mon heure de mourir”, a déclaré Serge Gelle, ministre de la police épuisé, alors qu’il se rétablissait sur une civière.

Un autre responsable de la sécurité qui voyageait avec lui dans l’hélicoptère a également survécu au crash.

L’équipe s’était envolée lundi soir pour inspecter le site d’un naufrage dans le nord-est du pays.

Selon l’agence maritime, le nombre de personnes tuées dans cet accident s’élève à 64 et au moins 20 autres sont toujours portées disparues.

Le navire, un cargo non autorisé à transporter des passagers, était surchargé et l’eau a envahi son moteur, a déclaré un responsable de l’agence cité par Reuters.

Au moins 45 survivants ont été secourus jusqu’à présent, a précisé l’agence.

Sur Twitter, le président Andry Rajoelina a rendu hommage aux personnes décédées ainsi qu’à M. Gelle et à l’autre officier, qui sont arrivés séparément dans la ville balnéaire de Mahambo.

S’exprimant mardi, M. Gelle, 57 ans, a déclaré que son hélicoptère s’était écrasé après avoir été touché par une rafale de vent et qu’il avait nagé de “7h30 hier soir à 7h30 ce matin” jusqu’à Mahambo.

Il a dit qu’il n’était pas blessé mais a ajouté qu’il avait froid.

“Je voudrais juste que vous diffusiez cette vidéo pour que ma famille la voie, mes collègues la voient et les membres du gouvernement la voient. [Je suis vivant et en bonne santé”, a déclaré M. Gelle aux habitants de Mahambo.

Le chef de la police, Zafisambatra Ravoavy, a déclaré à l’agence de presse AFP que M. Gelle avait utilisé l’un des sièges de l’hélicoptère comme dispositif de flottaison.

“Il a toujours eu une grande endurance dans le sport, et il a gardé ce rythme en tant que ministre, comme un homme de 30 ans… il a des nerfs d’acier”, a déclaré M. Ravoavy.

M. Gelle a servi dans la police pendant trois décennies avant d’être nommé ministre en août.


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