UPDATE(with video): Landing gear found, believed to be from small plane that crashed in sea off Marigot

Local search party going out to look for the aircraft on Sunday night

Rescue teams are continuing their search today after a small plane carrying four people (two crew and two passengers) crashed into the sea in Marigot on Sunday. The landing gear from the craft is believed to have been found (video at end of article).

The Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of the Dominica Air and Seaport Authority (DASPA), Benoit Bardouille, said the French-registered aircraft was given clearance to take off from Douglas-Charles Airport destined for Le Raizet Airport in Guadeloupe.

“The search started again this morning. From the information I have thus far, we did have another person call, directly to me and gave a location based on what they heard last night in the general area and I think within that area thus far, a bag and a passport has been found, so there is some sort of active search now within that locality,” Bardouille said.

He said the aircraft was airborne at about 6:43 pm and was instructed by the air traffic controller to report when he passed 1500ft in the climb.

According to the DASPA official, a couple of minutes later, the air traffic controller attempted to contact the aircraft for a frequency change to Raizet control, but was unable to make contact with the aircraft.

“He made several attempts but received no response. The air traffic controller took a look at the radar viewing that we have at the airport and could not identify the aircraft…”, Bardoiulle said.

He said the Raizet Airport was immediately contacted and they informed Douglas-Charles Control that they had no information on the aircraft.

“At that point in time the aircraft, not being in contact with the air traffic control in Dominica and not being in contact with Guadeloupe was considered to be a missing aircraft,” he said.

Meanwhile, Bardouille said the fire service received a call from a private citizen, indicating that they had seen “something in relation to an aircraft that may have gone down into the sea”.

He said immediately, the fire service sought the assistance of the fisherfolk in Marigot to assist, while the mobilization of the Coast Guard was taking place.

“We are hopeful that something may happen since the aircraft may have not gone too far away from the airport, but certainly we are very concerned and we are doing everything along with the police as well as the French authorities to try to see how we can do any rescue or retrieval of anything that would provide the kind of evidence that is required for an investigation,” the DASPA CEO stated.

The rescue teams include the Eastern Caribbean Civil Aviation Authority, the local coast guard and fisherfolk in Marigot. Two helicopters are also being used to conduct the search.

Bardouille made it clear that the actual airfield is not affected.

“It does not affect movements of aircrafts in and out of Douglas-Charles,” he said. “Clearly there will be an investigation by the appropriate authority to ensure that we can know what the cause was.”

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  1. bobby
    February 21, 2020

    The country needs more resources where all that passport money get that activated .ASAP.

  2. Jeule Kabwit
    February 19, 2020

    Up to this present day Mr Bardouille is not aware that the Raizet is no longer in use. There is a different airport for years, research the name it is important.

  3. Ashamed
    February 19, 2020

    My concern is are we prepared for a sea rescue if liat or seaborne falls into the sea? Where are the two fire service boats that were docked in marigot? The night the plane went down was very windy why was a small aircraft allowed to take flight? Is the air traffic control at the airport up to standards? I’m ashamed to see we are not prepared for such a rescue let us use this as a warning that this country is I’ll prepared

    February 18, 2020

    Seems like an excellent and timely response with the tools on hand, to a tragic event. Although drones are not allowed near airports, in this instance, considering there’s no helicopter, a few police managed drones would be effective and inexpensive considering the overall benefit.

  5. jamie
    February 18, 2020

    Country is a damn joke!!!!!

  6. February 18, 2020

    Ask Guadeloupe for assistance in the search…

  7. Truth Be Told
    February 17, 2020

    Why is the coast guard not permanently resident in Marigot, which would be close enough to the main airport in case of airline accidents at sea? Why is it located in Roseau?

      February 18, 2020

      Why, because its coast guard guarding coast and ports not airport guard. Also Marigot has a plethora of boats unlike other villages. I get your point though, its always good to have emergency services near an airport. in this case a small rescue helicopter would be appropriate and effective.

  8. Len
    February 17, 2020

    I am confused. Don’t we have coast guards with decent vessels in times of crisis? My comment is based on the small fishing boat in the video.

      February 18, 2020

      A coast guard vessel is high above water with a powerful engine that disrupts debris and people in the water. In calm water search and rescue, this is actually the best option, low open boat with visibility. A helicopter would cover more ground or at least they should employ drones, they are inexpensive and effective.

  9. Up den dung
    February 17, 2020

    “The fire service sought the assistance of the fisherfolk in Marigot to assist.” Who the fisherfolk?
    We need coastguard in that area just as we do the fire service. We pray for strength for the victims family.

    • derp
      February 17, 2020

      the coast guard was there too, the more people helping search the better

    • thinking idiot
      February 18, 2020

      allu does just read what allu want?

      He said immediately, the fire service sought the assistance of the fisherfolk in Marigot to assist, while the mobilization of the Coast Guard was taking place.

      Dominicans eh beh weh. allu does get vex and doe even know what allu getting vex for. Anyway I commend the fisherfolk for assisting how they could but this just speaks volumes to how unprepared we are to handle such disasters. If you are telling me that a plane even a small one can go down in Marigot where the main airport is and we have to mobilize fisherfolk to help instead of trained personnel then we should definitely look into improving.

      –thinking idiot
      sometimes it’s easier to pretend that you don’t care than to admit it’s killing you

  10. No name
    February 17, 2020

    Please pay attention to what Mr Bardouille, they had sought the assistance of the local fisher men from the marigot fisheries complex to assist while the local coast guard was be mobilize. My people everything comes down to politics. The fisheries complex should be a permanent base for the coast guard . There should be a rescue team at the complex well prepared and ready to go in times of these. The complex was ment to be a point of entry for the north eastern area. The only reason why this hasn’t been done is because the people of marigot doesn’t support the government. No hospital, no rescue team,no coast guard permanently stationed in the area ,how ever the main airport is located in marigot. Keep thinking that the people of marigot are the only one flying in and out of the airport. The people that are in charge of this country they call Dominica are very wicked and evil. County has been reduced to nothing.

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