Madagascar police chief swims for 12 hours after helicopter crash

Madagascar’s police minister and an air force mechanic succeeded in swimming for 12 hours to safety after their helicopter crashed in the Indian Ocean.
General Serge Gelle, 57, the secretary of state for the gendarmerie, was discovered in the water by a fisherman in a canoe who brought him to shore, according to officials.
Another passenger, Chief Warrant Officer Jimmy Laitsara, also swam to the beach at Mahambo.
“My turn to die has not yet come, thank God. I’m well. I’m just cold,” said Gelle in a video posted to Twitter by Madagascar’s defence ministry. “But I’m sad because I don’t know if my friends are alive.”
Gelle appeared on a lounge chair, still in his military camouflage, his hands pale and wrinkled by the water and the cold.

Al Jazeera’s Malcolm Webb reports.

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Africa, General Serge Gelle, Indian Ocean, madagascar
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