The Guyana Defence Force is in a state of mourning following the tragic loss of five servicemen in a helicopter crash on Wednesday, December 6th, 2023. The Bell helicopter, with registration marking 8R-AYA, was under the command of Colonel Shahoud on a mission to visit troops along the western border when it met with a fatal accident.
The servicemen who lost their lives in the crash are Lieutenant Colonel Michael Charles, Commanding Officer of the 1st Infantry Battalion, Colonel Michael Shahoud, Retired Brigadier Gary Beaton, Lieutenant Colonel Sean Welcome, and Staff Sergeant Jason Khan. Two survivors, Lieutenant Colonel Andio Michael Crawford and Corporal Dwayne Jackson, are currently receiving emergency medical care. The helicopter was reported missing approximately 30 miles east of Arau, Essequibo County, near the border with Venezuela.