During the night of Monday 29th July, seven people survived after a light plane belonging to the Equatorial Guinea Armed Forces (FAS) crashed into the sea. The aircraft left Malabo military airport bound for Bata, to then go to Mongomeyen, in order to take part in military manoeuvres marking the celebration of 3rd August. On arrival at the Port of Bata, the survivors were received by authorities, including the Vice-President of the Republic, Charged with National Defence and State Security, H. E. Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue.
The accident happened 102 miles from the coast of Bata. The aircraft left Malabo bound for Mongomeyen, with a stop in Bata, in order to take part in military manoeuvres to mark the celebration of the 40th Anniversary of the Freedom Coup, on 3rd August.
During the manoeuvre there was a crew of seven; three Equatoguineans and four Russians.
“There was a lot of rain ans strong winds, the motor began to fail, while we were still in the air space between Cameroon and Equatorial Guinea, there was nothing we could do, we saw the plane fall and in no time at all we were in the water”, explained one of the survivors.
As a consequence, the Equatoguinean authorities, on hearing of the air accident, immediately ordered the deployment of the Army and Navy, to begin a search operation.
“We received the orders from the Vice-Minister for Defence, who in turn received orders from the Vice-President of the Republic, once information had been received through the armed forces regarding the accident”, explained the Navy Chief of Staff, who went on to say that “we organised the search in two very important sectors: a group of personnel on land, coordinating all the actions of helicopters and boats, and another group of personnel on board the boats”.
This rapid intervention of troops allowed the rescue of the seven people who were travelling in the plane.
“It was quite a difficult operation because it took place at night, we sailed for four hours, we put the coordinates in the navigation equipment and thanks to God, after identifying the place where the survivors were, we arrived at the spot at 11:05 at night, We then activated all signalling devices, so that they could see us”, said the Commander Colonel of the Patrol Vessel, Juan Moises Anda.
For his part, the Vice-President of the Republic, H. E. Obiang Nguema Obiang Mangue went to the port of the economic capital of the country to witness proceedings, where he thanked God and praised the successful actions of the armed forces of the country as, in his words, this accident would have caused national mourning.
“With something like this happening, it would have saddened us during the festivities of the 40th Anniversary”, declared the Vice-President of the Republic to the survivors, who went on to say that ” the colleagues from the FAS, land, sea and air were already very saddened”, and he continued by sayintg “we made every effort on order to be able to recover our people and thanks to God it is a miracle that you are alive, because for me it is a divine miracle that a plane crashes and all the occupants survive. We are very happy, the entire people of Equatorial Guinea, to have you here with us”.
The Vice-President of the Republic concluded by thanking the Navy, the Air Force and all those who contributed their grain of sand towards the operation of search and rescue of the survivors.
All the survivors were taken to hospital to evaluate their health.
An extraordinary case which once again shows the operational capability, willingness and efficiency of the FAS, it being the main concern of the Vice-President of the Republic, since he assumed the portfolios of National Defence and State Security.
In this context, during his latest visits, Teodoro Nguema Obiang Mangue urged the commanders of various units to periodically organise military manoeuvres, in order to be able to respond efficiently to any situation.
Source: Equatorial Guinea Press and Information Office