GFS crews and helicopter return home from Sichuan

    The crew of the Government Flying Service (GFS) Super Puma helicopter returned to Hong Kong today (June 6) after completing their rescue and relief work in earthquake-hit Sichuan.

    Yesterday (June 5), the Director of the Hong Kong and Macao Affairs Office, Sichuan Provincial Peoples' Government, Mr Cui Zhiwei, and Mr Lu Er Xu from the Helicopter Command Centre of Civil Aviation Administration, on behalf of the Disaster Relief Command of the Sichuan Provincial People's Government, presented a banner to the GFS crew members in appreciation of their efforts in providing assistance in the rescue and relief work in the disaster areas.

    The Super Puma helicopter departed from Guanghan this morning. The flight crew of the Super Puma consisted of two pilots and two engineers. Other members of the team will return home by commercial flights today and tomorrow.

    "We're very proud of the work our crews have done in Sichuan. It was the result of the collective efforts of many people, including the crews of the other relief forces who shared the temporary base with us in Guanghan," Controller of GFS Captain Michael Chan said.

    Over the three-week deployment, the GFS crews were involved in 26 operations in which 96 casualties were brought to safety and 119 people to the disaster area.  Most of those 119 persons were members of ground search teams and specialists who monitored the condition of the quake lake in Tangjiashan.

Ends/Friday, June 6, 2008
Issued at HKT 20:36