LOCAL MP Caroline Spelman has written to the Dutch ambassador in a bid to speed the recovery of the body of brave Knowle pilot Robert Mansell who died saving the lives of his passengers when forced to ditch his plane in the Caribbean.
The 32-year-old was knocked unconscious when he ditched his Britten-Norman Islander aircraft in Dutch-controlled waters near the island of Curacao, 40 miles off the coast of Venezuela a week ago last Wednesday, October 21.
His passengers, all mainly Dutch, escaped but they were unable to free the man who saved them due to a damaged safety harness and the plane, with Robert still in it, sank in 400 metres of water.
“This is a tragedy and we have been trying to help Robert’s father Roger recover the body of his son,” said Mrs Spelman, MP for Meriden.
“The aircraft went down in Dutch waters and I have written to the Dutch ambassador to see if we can get permission to raise the wreckage. I have also been in touch with the airline, to see if they are insured as the salvage operation will cost in the region of £250,000.”