Family’s touching tribute to couple killed in helicopter crash

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A family has paid tribute after the death of a couple in a helicopter crash in Australia. 

According to family, Ron and Diane Hughes, 65 and 57, from Wirral, had been visiting family in Australia after not seeing them since before the coronavirus lockdown. The couple died after two helicopters crashed on Monday, January 2.

At the time of the incident, it is believed one helicopter was landing, and another was taking off, near Sea World Drive in Main Beach, the Liverpool Echo reports. Thankfully, one of the helicopters managed to successfully land on a sandbank as dozens of people rushed to help the casualties.

However, the pilot – named locally as 40-year-old Ash Jenkinson – was reported to have died at the scene alongside three passengers, Mr and Mrs Hughes and 36-year-old Vanessa Tadros from New South Wales. Ms Tadros’ 10-year-old son Nicholas was taken to hospital in a critical condition as were Winnie De Silva, aged 33, and her nine-year-old son Leon, it is reported.

Still reeling from their loss, the family of Ron and Diane have released a tribute, describing them as “loyal, fun-loving and generous.” They said that the loss will leave a “huge hole” in the family and that they are still coming to terms with the “tragedy.”

They said: “We are deeply saddened and still in a state of shock from the events that unfolded on Monday. Ron and Diane arrived last week visiting our family on the Gold Coast after being separated by Covid for the last few years.

“They were the most generous, loyal, fun-loving couple who had a zest for life and were loved and adored by everyone they met. Tragedies like this happen to ‘other people’ and we are all struggling to come to terms with our loss.

“They leave a huge hole in our family and will be survived by parents, brothers, sons, daughters, and their cheeky grandkids. On behalf of our Australian and UK family, we would like to thank all the first responders, emergency services and Sea World staff for their heroics in trying to save our loved ones.

“Our thoughts are with everyone impacted and we pray for the recovery of survivors still in hospital. Finally, the outpouring of love from our friends, family and the Gold Coast community has touched us all and will never be forgotten.”

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