Bad Weather Detected as Police Helicopter Went Missing
TEMPO.CO, Pangkalpinang - The Pangkalpinang branch of the Meteorology, Climatology, and Geophysics Agency (BMKG) said that bad weather was observed at the time the helicopter operated by the Police's water and air unit (Polairud) went missing over the waters of East Belitung. The missing helicopter is believed to have crashed at the Buku Limau Waters on Sunday, November 27, at around 13:15 hours local time.
Data and Information for Class 1 Meteorological Station coordinator Depati Amir Pangkapinang Kurniaji said that there was a thick appearance of Cumulonimbus (CB) clouds at the location where the helicopter first lost contact.
"The Tanjung Pandan area and its surroundings, especially in the position between Buku Limau and Manggar, East Belitung Regency, there were plenty of Cumulonimbus clouds had formed," Kurniaji told Tempo, Monday, November 28, 2022.
Kurniaji insisted that the strong winds caused by the weather were extremely hazardous for a helicopter to take flight. "If the helicopter continues to fly in the midst of these conditions, there will be a lot of strong winds. This is very dangerous," he said.
However, Kurniaji was unable to substantiate that the bad weather was indeed the main cause of the helicopter crash.
Local Fishermen Discover Debris
The fisherman who found the helicopter wreckage, Sobri, provide similar statements regarding the weather he experienced extreme weather while fishing the Buku Limau Waters. Sobri recalled seeing many foreign objects floating in the middle of the sea.
"At around 13:30 hours Western Indonesia Time, there was heavy rain and stormy winds. So around 14:00 hours, I chose to return to land after the rain. The weather was really not good at that time," Sobirin said.
"Many objects float. I only took three objects from that location which later was identified as the helicopter seats. Previously, I did not know that a helicopter had crashed. I brought the seats because they were still in good condition," he said.
One Body Recovered
The missing helicopter carried a crew of four that comprises AKP Arif Rachman Saleh, Co-Pilot First Brigadier Moch Lasminto, and two helicopter technicians namely Aipda Joko Mudo and Brigadier Muhammad Khoirul Anam.
Based on the search and rescue team, the body of Muhammad Khoirul Anam was discovered in the Pantai Burung Mandi waters on Monday morning. There were also a number of items that are believed to come from the missing helicopter.
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