On Thursday 5th April we got a phone call we were never expecting; to help in the search and locate operation over at Fort Morgan, AL. for missing teen 17 year old Jevon Lemke. Jevon tragically drowned when swimming along the shoreline, pulled out by a dangerous rip current. Five other swimmers also had to be rescued that day.
Words cannot describe our sadness for the family's loss and we wanted more than anything to help. Calling up our passengers, we explained the situation and all of them were happy to move their tours to a more convenient time for us. We honestly can't thank them enough for changing their plans and fitting in with our schedule.
As soon as the volunteer representative arrived, we safety briefed, issued a life vest and headed out to scour the Alabama coastline, along with a flotilla of boats.
Our aircraft, a Robinson R44 Clipper II, is an excellent maritime helicopter fitted with a VHF marine radio, radio altimeter, additional radios, ADSB, ELT, floats on the skids and great visibility with the doors on or off.
After several hours of searching over by Fort Morgan, west of Gulf Shores, AL. we eventually conceded and headed back to base. Sadly the water hampered our efforts in seeing below the surface making it a daunting task. We were hoping beyond hope to find Jevon and return him to his family if only to help ease the pain and suffering they are going though.
Our hearts go out to the Lemke family for their loss. We hope that future systems and equipment are put in place so that no parent will go through what the Lemke family and friends have had to endure.
For more info follow the link Jevon Lemke