The South African  Civil Aviation Authority (Sacaa) is probing a helicopter accident that claimed two lives at the Vaal Dam on Friday.

It is believed that the helicopter was en route from Rand Airport to the Vaal Dam with a Johannesburg pilot, his sister and 2 dogs.

“Just after 18h00, Friday, 14 May, NSRI Vaal Dam duty crew were alerted to reports of a helicopter accident on the Vaal Dam,” said Jake Manten NSRI Vaal Dam station commander.

“ARCC Aeronautical Rescue Coordination Centre (ARCC ) activated NSRI Vaal Dam, the SA Police Services, Netcare 911 ambulance services and ER24 ambulance services. NSRI launched the rescue craft Harveys Fibreglass.”

On arrival on the scene, near to the Vaal Marina, 200 meters off-shore, a Robinson R44 helicopter was found to have ditched in the Vaal Dam.

“A bystander, using a rowing craft, had recovered an adult female from wreckage and sadly she was declared deceased by paramedics”.

Manten said that Police Dive Unit, assisted by NSRI, scuba dived on wreckage and recovered the body of an adult male believed to be the pilot and sadly he was declared deceased by paramedics.

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The bodies of the deceased were taken into the care of Gauteng Government Health Forensic Pathology Services.

Sacaa Spokesperson Kabelo Ledwaba said that an investigation has been opened.

“The Accident and Incident Investigations Division has been notified of an accident involving a Robinson – R44 that crashed in the Vaal dam at a place called Sunset Cove,” said Ledwaba.

“There were two occupants on board. Both occupants were  fatally injured. The process of gathering more information that will assist in determining the cause of the accident has  begun.”

Police have opened an inquest docket.

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