Families pay tribute to those who died in Rhinog Mountains helicopter crash


Dale Spridgeon

POLICE confirm that the remains of the helicopter which crashed in the Rhinog Mountains last Wednesday, have now been recovered.


And now, the families of those who lost their lives have paid tribute to their loved ones.


North Wales police say the wreckage has been transported from the crash site for a detailed examination by the Air Accident Investigation Board. 


 The ‘Air Restriction Zone’ in place since last week has now been lifted.


However, the scene is still cordoned off and protected by police as a further search and examination is required.


Chief Inspector Richie Green, at North Wales Police, has thanked the local communities and visitors for their support and cooperation.


“Now those who tragically lost their lives have been recovered and the wreckage removed a further methodical search and examination is required before we can release the ‘scene."  


“I am very grateful for the continued patience and understanding of the public as we bring this complex and difficult stage of the investigation to a close.


"The AAIB will now begin a detailed examination of the aircraft whilst my officers speak with witnesses and to this end we are still appealing to anyone who was in the Rhinog Mountains area of Snowdonia between 12 noon and 1pm, on Wednesday, March 29, and who may have heard or seen the helicopter to contact North Wales Police via the live web chathttp://www.north-wales.police.uk/contact/chat-support.aspx or by phoning 101.”


"North Wales Police and Thames Valley Police continue to support family members and they asked for the following tributes and photographs to be shared.   Our thoughts remain with them”.


Kath Stewardson and the Stewardson family paid tribute saying:


"We would like to take this opportunity to thank everybody for their support and messages of condolences on the loss of our wonderful daughter, sister and auntie, Sharon Burke, her husband Donald, his brothers Kevin and Barry also Kevin's wife Ruth. We are truly overwhelmed with all your love and support."


"Our thoughts at this time are especially with Sharon and Donald's three wonderful Children who are a credit to their parents.


"We would like to pass on special thanks to all of the emergency services and public who helped in the search and recovery of our loved ones, also the police liaison officers who have been a great help at this difficult time."


Donald and Sharon Burke’s daughter Olivia said:


"Our family has changed within the space of a day. They were taken far too soon and it’s hard for us to understand why such a tragedy would happen to the best type of people, who were so selfless and genuine to everyone they met.


"They embodied every attribute of an amazing parent, sibling, child and friend. That will never be forgotten and will only make us aspire to do them proud.


"We would appreciate if everyone could respect our wishes to be left alone and allow us the time to come to terms with the events of the last few days, through the support of our family and friends."







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