The Guyana Defense Force has today, 7th of December, 2023, at around 11:00 AM, issued a statement that it has located the suspected crash site of the missing GDF Bell 412 helicopter with which it lost signal some time during the morning hours of Wednesday, 6th of December, 2023. The GDF also stated that the aircraft was spotted and that the search and rescue team has reported “signs of life” at the crash site. At the time of the Press Release (11:00 AM, Thursday, December, 7th, 2023), troops were being rappelled to the site location. At 12:10 PM (about 1 hour, 10 minutes later), the GDF posted an update saying that “inclement weather conditions have prevented the attempted insertion of the rescue team to the site,” and that “another attempt will be made at approximately 12:45 hours when the weather is expected to be more favorable.”
The GDF reported yesterday, Wednesday, 6th of December, 2023, that it lost contact with the said chopper at 11:20 AM after the aircraft sent out a distress signal. A search and rescue operation promptly went into effect but was reportedly hindered by severe weather conditions. At 7:00 PM December 6th, 2023, the GDF announced that the search and rescue operation was paused until sunrise this morning, December 7th. At sunrise today, the search and rescue operation resumed.
The helicopter, piloted by veteran GDF pilot Michael Charles, departed Base Camp Ayanganna in Georgetown, Guyana, South America at 9:23 AM, Wednesday, December 6, 2023 on a mission to Arau, Region 7, near to Guyana’s border with Venezuela. In addition to the pilot, it was carrying 2 other crew members and 4 passengers. The nature of the mission it was on is not clear to this publication at this time.
News of the missing helicopter was received with alarm and suspicions that the Venezuelan military, which has ramped up military activities at the Guyana border, might have had something to do with its disappearance. At present, tensions between Guyana and Venezuela are a boiling point as a cold war for the disputed Essequibo territory heats up. Venezuela’s dictator President, Nicolas Maduro, is rallying his armed forces around the “defense of the Essequibo” while Guyana’s President Irfaan Ali is trying desperately to whip up support from powerful nations and military alliances.