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The helicopter had left Comodoro to rescue the crew member of a fishing boat 160 miles from Puerto Deseado. A breakdown due to bad weather triggered the emergency, and they did not make it to the coast. The accident that cost the lives of two young pilots, who could save the other four occupants of the aircraft.
On March 20, 2000, the largest aviation accident in Naval Prefecture occurred , when a helicopter that was carrying out the rescue of a crew member of a fishing vessel suffered a breakdown due to bad weather and fell the water. The accident that cost the lives of two young pilots.
The PUMA helicopter “PA-11” had departed from Comodoro Rivadavia Air Station manned by five members of Prefectura Naval Argentina and a civilian doctor , and headed 160 miles east of Puerto Deseado , where the fishing vessel “Fueguino I “They were waiting for the rescue of one of their crew.
Due to bad weather, the rescue basket was caught when lowering and broke the cable that held it, and part of the broken wire (chicote) hit the main rotor of the machine, causing major breakdowns, which caused strong vibrations of the same , motivating the suspension of the rescue.
The helicopter, already “in emergency”, abandoned the rescue, and although it tried to reach the mainland, it did not achieve it and it had to carry out an oil spill about 107 miles from the coast.
The request for help was received immediately, and the operation was quick. Another helicopter, coastguards and fishing boats that were in the area participated in it. One of the fishing vessels, the “Pescarden III”, located the aircraft floating and four of the survivors in a raft . Unfortunately, they found on a second raft, and lifeless , the commander of the aircraft Prefect Prefect -Aviator- Eduardo Emiliano Velázquez Tarlicetti (P-XLI), who died of hypothermia. The co-pilot, Chief Official – Aviator – Maximiliano Dax Consentino (P-LVIII) despite the intense search, could not be located, and he was reported missing.