June 2nd 10:30 PM
It is with profound sadness, shock still, a tremendous sense of loss and with very heavy hearts that we are letting you know that we have lost two of our dear missionary colleagues this afternoon. Lost to us and their families but with the Lord.
Jay and Katrina went to be with the Lord this afternoon at about 4:30 PM after the plane that Jay was flying crashed into the Zambezi River right at Zambezi town which is approximately half way between Chitokoloki and Chavuma.
Jay had flown earlier in the day three passengers from Lusaka to Chitokoloki arriving at 12:15.
We had another flight booked later in the day to take one nurse from Chitokoloki to Chavuma and they left Chitokoloki at 3:00 PM. Jay’s wife Katrina went with him for the first time off the station since they arrived some months ago and she was so excited to just be off the station for a short period, we kept their two girls here, Marina and Corral, The plane landed at Chavuma 30 minutes after take off. At about 4:00 PM they left Chavuma to return to Chitokoloki. At about 4:30 that afternoon the plane went into the water just outside the town of Zambezi.
We were soon notified and rushed to Zambezi which took almost 45 minutes and by this time hundreds were on the banks but the plane was completely submerged in the river, Frantic efforts were made to secure a boat with an engine but all efforts failed and just after 6:30 PM we had to give up as darkness had descended.
We feel absolutely distraught and completely overwhelmed with sadness, agony and grief over this and so helpless that we could not do something more.
We drove back to Chitokoloki and found the Christians all gathered at the church building with fires lit, singing quietly and expressing their sympathy in the traditional way.
The two girls are asleep in their own beds and two of the single gals are with them tonight.
Tomorrow at daybreak we will head back to Zambezi and with the Lord;s help we will attempt to recover the bodies and pull the plane to the bank.