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Heli Crash: Squadron 503’s Goodbye Wave To Colleagues Turned Out To Be Final Farewell

Heli Crash: Squadron 503’s Goodbye Wave To Colleagues Turned Out To Be Final Farewell

Squadron 503 of the Royal Malaysian Navy posted an image showing the last time they saw their colleagues.

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A set of photos posted on Facebook by Squadron 503 of the Royal Malaysian Navy (RMN) on 19 April hits differently following the helicopter crash in Lumut, Perak.

Squadron 503, based in Sepanggar, lost four members including its commanding officer Commander Muhammad Firdaus Ramli.

The crash involved RMN’s AgustaWestland AW139 helicopter and its Eurocopter Fennec during a flypast rehearsal for the Navy Day celebration at 9.32am yesterday.

Following news of the crash, Squadron 503’s photos posted on 19 April saw netizens sending their condolences, with one photo particularly poignant.

It showed five members of Squadron 503 waving goodbye to their colleagues in two AgustaWestland AW139 helicopters heading towards the naval base in Lumut.

Little did they know at the time that it would be the last time they would see four of their colleagues. The squadron sent nine crew members and 11 technicians for the Navy Day celebration in Lumut.

The post has amassed over 500 comments, mostly of netizens sharing their condolences.

Squadron 503 is the official name for the RMN’s air unit tasked with flying the Maritime Operations Helicopter (HOM).

Muhammad Firdaus, 44, is from Penang and will be laid to rest in his hometown of Sungai Nibong Besar.

Astro Awani, in quoting a family member, reported that Muhammad Firdaus had served in the navy for over 20 years.

He leaves behind a wife and a four-year-old child.

READ MORE: Heli Crash: RMN Releases Names Of Crew Members, Families Flown Out To Lumut

Meanwhile, the planned RMN 90th Anniversary celebrations have been cancelled. Defence Minister Datuk Seri Mohamed Khaled Nordin said tahlil and doa selamat prayers would be held on Friday (26 April).

The Sultan of Selangor would be joining the prayers as an honorary captain of the navy.

Khaled added that one navy personnel who was swimming inside the pool at the time of the tragedy sustained minor injuries after getting hit by the debris.

An investigation committee has been set up given the helicopter crash incident.

READ MORE: Malaysia’s AgustaWestland Tragedy: A Nation Mourns, Safety Questioned

READ MORE: Two Helicopters Crash In Lumut, RMN Confirms No Survivors

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