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Helicopter mystery perplexes Islanders

News | Published:

MYSTERY surrounds what a helicopter spotted in the early hours of Tuesday may have been doing in the skies above Jersey.

The helicopter was spotted flying over St Clement, as well as Five Oaks and Trinity, in the early hours of Tuesday morning

Many Islanders took to Facebook to try to find out why the chopper was hovering around the Island just after midnight.

It was spotted flying low over the Five Oaks area, Trinity and St Clement, leading to dozens of comments online.

The States police said they had no information on the aircraft in their logs and Ports of Jersey confirmed there were no search and rescue operations nor medical evacuations operational at the time.

Many eye witnesses said the helicopter had been quite low to the ground and very loud.

Samantha Gray, who started a post on the helicopter on the Facebook page ‘JERSEY – Who, when, what, why, how?’, said it flew over her St Clement home.

‘About midnight heard a loud whirring noise and looked out the window and could see a red light,’ she said. ‘(It) flew right over the top of the house quite low.’

After she posted, many other residents who had seen the chopper over various parishes added their comments.

The theories put forward online included that it might be French authorities searching for the gangster jailbreaker Redoine Faid.Faid escaped from a prison outside Paris on Sunday by helicopter after his armed gang broke in to free him using smoke bombs and angle-grinders.

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French naval aircraft often fly over Jersey en route to France, but the JEP was unable to confirm if it was a French military helicopter.

Ports of Jersey said they handed control of the airspace back to the French on Monday night at 22.36 pm.

‘With the space now under its control, it can allow aircraft to cross it,’ a spokesman said. ‘We have no record. Therefore, an aircraft could well have been in our airspace during this time but it wasn’t connected with any Jersey activity so we have no record of it.’

Tania Targett

By Tania Targett
Journalist

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