Image Credit: Supplied

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Ras Al Khaimah: The National Search and Rescue Center has announced the names of the four-member crew who were killed while performing their duty on board Agusta 139 rescue helicopter which crashed next to Jais Mountain in Ras Al Khaimah earlier on Saturday.

The names are:

Pilot: Saqr Saeed Mohamed Abdullah AlYamahi

Pilot: Hameed Mohamed Obaid AlZa'abi

Navigator: Jasim Abdullah Ali Tunaiji

First Aid Man: Mark Roxburgh


The rescue helicopter crashed on Jebel Jais mountain in Ras Al Khaimah, killing four crew members on Saturday.

The incident happened when the helicopter clipped a zipline on the mountain, the UAE's highest peak. The dead include three Emiratis and a foreigner.

Supplied footage

His Highness Shaikh Saud Bin Saqr Al Qasimi, Supreme Council Member and Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah, has ordered immediate investigation into the crash of the helicopter, which was operated by the National Search and Rescue Center.

Shaikh Saud also ordered a comprehensive investigation into the security and safety requirements being followed in the incident site to establish the cause.

A top official said: “The accident happened at 5:50pm on Saturday and the helicopter was on a mission to airlift an injured man from Jebel Jais. The helicopter crashed before reaching the man.”

He said the helicopter crashed after hitting the zip line cable.

Supplied footage
A rescue helicopter crashed in Jebel Jais mountain of Ras Al Khaimah killing four, including three crew members and a foreigner, police said on Saturday. Image Credit: Screengrab

The ‘Jebel Jais Flight’ zipline is the world’s longest zipline in Ras Al Khaimah.

It is 2.8 km long – the length of 28 football fields and runs at a height of 1,680m above sea level, on top of Jebel Jais mountain, the UAE’s highest peak. By comparison, Burj Khalifa the world’s tallest tower in Dubai, is 828 m high.

Statements

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced the crash, identifying the chopper as Agusta 139 helicopter. It said the incident took place during a rescue mission next to Jais Mountain in Ras Al Khaimah.

GCAA stated the crash took place at about 5.50 pm on Saturday. Search and rescue operations are ongoing.

The National Search and Rescue Centre confirmed that four crew members were on the board of the helicopter when the crash took place.

Haitham Mattar, Chief Executive Officer, Ras Al Khaimah Tourism Development Authority, said: ”We learned of the helicopter accident on Jebel Jais Mountain and can assure everyone that there were no injuries to any of the public on Jebel Jais, our team or the facilities on the mountain. We await further details pending the outcome of the investigation ordered by His Highness the Ruler of Ras Al Khaimah.”

An official at Saqr hospital told Gulf News that they received one injured man, an Indian, who sustained injuries while he was on Jebel Jais.

Three bodies were recovered and the search for the fourth crew member, the medic, is still on.

Rescue operations

While the police have not released details of circumstances surrounding the crash, there have been a number of search and rescue operations on Jebal Jais over the years.

In January, police rescued a European tourist who fell off the mountain while trekking.

A rescue helicopter was used to lift the victim. Later in the year, a Ras Al Khaimah police helicopter rescue team saved a Pakistani family from tragedy after their car plunged into a valley in Jebel Jais.

In September, a trekker who fell down the mountain was air lifted by helicopter to hospital – she didn’t survive and in October 2017, Ras Al Khaimah Police Air wing transported an injured woman to hospital from a ravine after her family car veered of the road.

Statements

The General Civil Aviation Authority (GCAA) has announced the crash, identifying the chopper as Agusta 139 helicopter. It said the incident took place during a rescue mission next to Jais Mountain in Ras Al Khaimah. GCAA stated the crash took place at about 5.50 pm on Saturday. Search and rescue operations are ongoing. The National Search and Rescue Centre confirmed that four crew members were on the board of the helicopter when the crash took place. The bodies are yet to be recovered from the crash site, it added.

What is Jebal Jais?

  • Jebal Jais is the UAE’s highest mountain – it’s summit has an elevation of 1,934m
  • It is located in Ras Al Khaimah, one of seven emirates in the UAE
  • The mountain is a popular tourist destination, especially in the winter because of the cooler weather, with locals and visitors driving up the mountain