On Day 5, the Philippine government and PAMAS search and rescue teams gather in prayer before air and sea searches begin. [Photo courtesy of Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services].

Southern Asia-Pacific

Adventist Medical Helicopter Search Efforts Continue with International Support

The day after the helicopter vanished, search teams discovered a pair of shoes in the ocean, belonging to Janelle Alder, the medivac nurse aboard the missing helicopter.

Philippines | Edward Rodriguez

The PAMAS (Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services) helicopter has been missing for five days, and search operations have continued with the help of several groups and people. The air search has been comprehensive, covering the suspected terrain completely and with large margins.

The Philippines Aviation Rescue Coordination Center (PARCC) is working closely with the Kota Kinabalu Aviation Rescue Coordination Center (KKARC) to send five boats and three planes, including a C130, to Malaysia for an air-and-water search. The Malaysian government has offered this assistance, which has been much appreciated by the PAMAS group.

[Photo courtesy of Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services].

[Photo courtesy of Philippine Adventist Medical Aviation Services].

A volunteer sonar imaging crew with their equipment arrived in Puerto Princesa, Philippines. The crew was flown by the Philippine Air Force Sokol helicopter to the PAMAS hangar, and then by two PAMAS planes to Candarman, the island closest to the spot for an underwater search. The crew met with the Philippine Navy to plan transportation to the potential ditching site.

The day after the helicopter vanished, the Municipal Disaster Risk Reduction and Management Office (MDRRMO) troops discovered shoes in the ocean, which they turned over to PAMAS officials. Many people verified that the shoes belonged to Janelle Alder, the medevac nurse aboard the missing helicopter.

The efforts of those engaged have been acknowledged, and the oil required for aircraft operations is on its way. Lau Dagum, a friend who was prepared to come at the last minute with extremely important equipment, was also appreciated. Dagum works with Antipara Explorations, which specializes in underwater mapping and analytics, and is pursuing doctoral studies in marine science.

The original version of this story was posted on the Southern Asia-Pacific Division website.