Tragic update after Sea World Chopper crash as two kids fight for life
Two boys critically injured in the mid-air collision between two Sea World helicopters are fighting for their lives as their fathers make heartbreaking pleas for prayers and support.
Neil de Silva’s wife Winnie, 33, and nine-year-old son Leon were among three passengers who sustained critical injuries on the Gold Coast on Monday after the helicopter they were flying in clipped another and crashed seconds after take-off.
The disaster claimed the lives of pilot Ash Jenkinson, 40, Sydney mum Vanessa Tadros, 36, and British couple Ron, 65, and Dianne Hughes, 57.
Leon, who arrived in Australia last year to be reunited with his mum, has been placed in an induced coma at the Queensland Children’s Hospital in Brisbane.
His shattered stepfather revealed on Wednesday Leon’s condition remains a major concern.
‘My wife and stepson were injured in the helicopter crash at Sea World yesterday while we were on a quick holiday from Geelong,’ Mr de Silva wrote on a fundraising page.
‘Thankfully they are both alive but have a lot of surgery ahead of them which means the family will need to stay here on the Gold Coast and I won’t be able to return to work.’
Simon Tadros – the grief-stricken father of 10-year-old Nicholas, who was also critically injured in the crash that killed his mother Vanessa – has revealed how he could only watch on as the tragedy unfolded.
Simon Tadros (left) is keeping vigil at his son Nicholas’ hospital bedside as his mourns the loss of his wife Vanessa (right)
Leon (left) is in an induced coma in Brisbane while his mum Winnie (right) is in intensive care on the Gold Coast
Mr Tadros told The Courier-Mail on Wednesday to: ‘Ask everyone to pray for my son that he wakes up and makes a good recovery’.
‘He is on life support in a critical condition. So please he needs all the prayers he can get,’ Mr Tadros posted on Tuesday night.
‘Please keep your prayers strong, may God pull him back with me and make a good recovery.’
Friends and neighbours back home at Glenmore Park in Sydney’s west have paid tribute, including local state MP Tanya Davies.
‘So often tragedies like these seem so far away from us but this devastating accident brings to home how precious and fragile life can be,’ she wrote.
‘Vanessa’s son Nicholas, is still in a critical condition in hospital. I pray for him and all the other surviving victims at this time. I especially think of Simon Tadros, Vanessa’s husband and Nicholas’ dad, who was on the ground at the time of the accident. He is by his son’s side in hospital.’
‘Life is precious and fragile. Treasure and appreciate your loved ones every day.’
Nicholas’ tutor Jenny Jordan also paid tribute.
‘What an absolute tragedy. Our beautiful Tadros family, Aced It Tutoring are feeling the pain of this loss. Hold your loved ones close.’
Nicholas Tadros continues to fight for life in hospital following the crash that killed his mum Vanessa (pictured)
Winnie de Silva has two broken legs, a broken right shoulder, a broken collarbone and a damaged left knee after the Sea World helicopter crash
An online fundraiser has raised almost $5,000.
‘We are praying for a miracle that our Nicky, (as he is playfully known) can be brought back to his grief stricken father Simon,’ family friend Rochelle Fajloun said.
‘If by God’s grace Nicky survives his catastrophic injuries, he will have an intense and protracted recovery period. Please keep him in your prayers.’
‘Simon distressingly witnessed the accident unfold and is totally shattered.
‘With all of the emotional pain that death brings, it can also bring significant financial burden. Any donations that can help the family during this difficult period will be most appreciated.
‘Please keep this genuinely wonderful and much loved family in your thoughts and prayers as they prepare for a life like they’ve never expected.’
Mr de Silva broke down on Wednesday morning as he told how the Geelong family had travelled to the Gold Coast for a ‘budget’ holiday when he shouted Winnie and Leon a 10-minute joy flight.
Leon (pictured) has a fractured skull and is in an induced coma
‘Leon’s the worst at the moment, he’s in an induced coma because of the head trauma and trauma on the brain,’ Mr de Silva told the Today show on Wedesday.
‘Our major concern is Leon when they wake his up today that he’s okay.’
‘I’m just doing what I can for them, I’ve got no choice.’
The mid-air collision claimed four lives and critically injured three others on board (pictured, the crash scene)
Mr de Silva watched in horror as his loved ones plummet to the ground moments after their helicopter
‘I thought they were dead, I couldn’t imagine anyone surviving,’ he recalled.
The 52-year-old pilot of the second helicopter, Michael James, and four of his five passengers suffered shrapnel wounds when the cockpit was struck by the main rotor of the other aircraft.
Three of the six people from the second helicopter, including the pilot, are still in hospital, a Queensland Health spokesperson confirmed.
That second helicopter’s passengers included a Western Australian woman and two New Zealand couples in their 40s who were travelling together.
A shrine of tributes is building near the site of the Gold Coast helicopter crash
Tragic Update After Sea World Chopper Crash as Two Kids Fight for Life
Two young children were involved in a horror helicopter crash at Sea World on Saturday. The tragedy has resulted in numerous questions and has left their families, friends, and their community in shock. What do we know about the incident and how are the two kids doing?
At around 4:00pm local time on Saturday, a helicopter carrying two children came down about 20 metres from Sea World’s northern beach pavilion. Witnesses described a loud noise followed by a dense cloud of smoke in the sky as the aircraft crashed.
Emergency services arrived shortly afterwards, with medics working to stabilize the injured passengers and ensure that the area was safe for people nearby. Four ambulances were sent to the scene to take the two patients to hospital.
The Two Victims
Two young victims, aged 7 and 12, were rushed to the Queensland Children’s Hospital with critical injuries. At the time of writing, the 7 year old remains in a critical condition, while the 12 year old is in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
The families, who request privacy at this time, have been continuously kept up to date by medical staff and are grateful for the support they have received.
Reactions and Messages of Support
People have expressed shock and sadness over the incident and many have sent messages of support to the families. The accident has sparked a discussion about Sea World’s safety and the adequacy of protective measures.
The Sea World staff members expressed their sincere condolences to the families, highlighting their commitment to the safety and wellbeing of all park visitors.
Additional Information and Support for the Victims
A fund has been set up to help the families of the two victims. The money will be used to pay for medical expenses and to provide ongoing counselling and support. Donations can be made through a GoFundMe page or via bank transfer.
Embedded Twitter Account
We are deeply saddened by our guests’ tragic incident. Our thoughts and prayers are with the families involved. We are working closely with the emergency services and relevant authorities to support those affected by the accident.
— Sea World (@SeaWorld) April 10, 2020
Frequently Asked Questions
- What happened at Sea World? A helicopter carrying two children crashed at Sea World on Saturday.
- What is the condition of the victims? The victims, aged 7 and 12, have been taken to hospital. The 7 year old is in a critical condition, while the 12 year old is in a stable condition and is expected to make a full recovery.
- Can I help the victims? Yes, donations can be made through a GoFundMe page or via bank transfer to help the families of the two victims with medical expenses and to provide ongoing counselling and support.
A tragic helicopter crash at Sea World on Saturday has left two children with critical injuries. The incident has sparked shock and sadness within the community, with families and friends sending messages of support. Both victims are being treated in hospital, and a fund has been set up to help the families.