Helicopter pilot killed in crash in South Africa

South African Police ServiceThe South African Police Service issued the following statement about the firefighting helicopter pilot that died in the line of duty while working on a fire Saturday, March 7:

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“Western Cape Provincial Commissioner, Lieutenant General Arno Lamoer has conveyed his sincere condolences on the passing of Colonel Hendricks Willem Marais who died when his helicopter crashed while water bombing a fire in the Cape Point Nature Reserve.

Colonel Marais worked as the first unit commander of the South African Police Service’ Airwing in Cape Town. He retired in 2004 at the age of 60. His former colleagues described him as a remarkable human being who was always prepared to help others. Colonel Marais was sworn in to the SAPS in 1990.

Lt General Lamoer remembers Col Marais as a pilot with strong work ethic, who was dedicated to his work. “He was affectionately called Bees and trained a number of police members with the Airwing environment. What an incredible human being he was. You could not miss his positive spirit. Our thoughts and prayers are with his wife, family and colleagues. He will be sorely missed. On behalf of the SAPS family we say may his Soul rest in peace.”

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Our sincere condolences go out to Colonel’s family and co-workers.

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