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    One dead after a Customs helicopter crashed into the sea during a chase off Sotogrande

    One of the crew members of a Customs Service helicopter died after the aircraft fell into the sea early this morning during a chase off Sotogrande, in the municipality of San Roque, some 30 miles east of Punta Europa. The pilot and co-pilot were able to save their lives in the accident, the circumstances of which are being investigated.

    Francisco Mena, spokesman for the platform “Por tu seguridad, por la de todos”, told 8Directo this morning that the person who lost his life was the helicopter operator. According to the spokesman, the other two occupants of the crashed aircraft, the pilot and co-pilot, managed to get out by their own means, but despite their efforts, they did not manage to rescue their companion alive.

    Little information has yet been released about the incident, although it seems that the Customs helicopter was involved in a pursuit of a suspected drug boat, and that in the early hours of the morning it crashed into the sea, due to circumstances which at the time of publication are still being investigated.

    The lifeless body of the deceased crew member has been taken to the mortuary in Algeciras. The pilot and co-pilot are in good condition, although they were injured, and are awaiting their statements, so that more details can be known about what happened. According to police sources the night has been “quite busy and intense” in terms of pursuits against drug traffickers, who “have taken advantage of the fact that there has been an easterly wind this morning to cross the Strait”.

    In this sense, these sources have commented that along the entire coastline of the area, from Estepona (Malaga) to Algeciras (Cadiz), they have counted at least five drug boats and seven ‘petaqueras’ (the smaller vessels that supply them with petrol on the high seas).

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