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RBDF: We continue search for pilot and plane wreck

The Royal Bahamas Defence Force (RBDF) continues to search for the wreckage of a small plane that crashed off New Providence on November 8, RBDF Commander Shone Pinder said yesterday.

Byron Ferguson’s plane, a six-seater Piper Aztec, crashed in waters two nautical miles from Lynden Pindling International Airport, authorities said.

“What we have is we have our team patrols that are conducted through the coastal areas in particular,” Pinder said.

“When our other crafts are headed out to sea in the general area of the [Berry Islands] and the Andros area, they continue to have their watchers…looking for any potential sightings or debris. But aside from that the operation continues and I guess at some point the commander of the defense force will provide information as to what happens thereafter.”

Last month, a group of volunteer divers discovered portions of what is believed to be the plane.

Pinder said yesterday no new debris has been “brought to my attention and I haven’t been made aware of any in the past since the early stages of this investigation”.

When asked if the defense force had lessened the intensity of its search, Pinder said, “That happens in time especially if you continue to conduct operations. You have requirements for other factors and of course…a natural course when you’ve confidentially provided resources to a single event.

“At some point, especially if there’s no yield, you start looking at a whole lot of responsibilities that you have that require the same attention now.”

Pinder said the RBDF ensures that “assets that are near the shoreline” are on the lookout for wreckage from the crash daily.

While the defense force continues its search, Ferguson’s family continues to mourn.

On Christmas morning, his brother, Bjorn Ferguson, wrote on Facebook, “This is certainly not the Christmas that I had bargained for. We grew up in a home where Christmas was highly celebrated.

“As we [began] our individual lives, Christmas became that time when we all returned to the [nest] (our parents’ home) to celebrate as an extended family. Today will mark the first time that one of my brothers will not be here to continue this long-standing family tradition. As time continues to pass, this pain appears to be increasing.”

Staff Reporter at The Nassau Guardian
Jasper Ward started at The Nassau Guardian in September 2018. Ward covers a wide range of national and social issues.
Education: Goldsmith, University of London, MA in Race, Media and Social Justice
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