THE family of the pilot who perished in the New Year’s Eve seaplane crash have touched down in Sydney today.
THE family of the pilot who perished in the New Year’s Eve seaplane crash have touched down in Sydney today.

Seaplane pilot’s family arrive in Sydney

THE family of the pilot who perished in the New Year's Eve seaplane crash have touched down in Sydney today.

Four members of Gareth Morgan's family arrived on an Air Canada flight to Sydney and landed just before 11am.

The pilot of the Sydney Seaplanes’ aircraft was 44-year-old Gareth Morgan, who police described as “an experienced seaplane pilot”.
The pilot of the Sydney Seaplanes’ aircraft was 44-year-old Gareth Morgan, who police described as “an experienced seaplane pilot”.

They were escorted by Sydney Seaplanes Managing Director Aaron Shaw.

The group was escorted out through the loading dock and into a waiting grey Mercedes van.

Mr Shaw had arrived an hour earlier to meet them.

The group were escorted by Sydney Seaplanes Managing Director Aaron Shaw. Picture: John Grainger
The group were escorted by Sydney Seaplanes Managing Director Aaron Shaw. Picture: John Grainger


Today the Morgan family released a statement saying, "We would like to thank the police and emergency services for their great diligence at this tragic time. We would also like to give thanks to the civilians that tried to assist in the immediate aftermath of the accident and also Gareth's friends and colleagues in Australia who have helped us through the last few days. Gareth was a wonderful and caring and brother who never ceased to make us proud. His loss is devastating. Please respect our privacy over the coming days and allow us space to grieve."

 

BROTHERS THANK HEROES AS TEARS FLOW

The brothers of cricket-loving millionaire Richard Cousins thanked the heroic fishing mates who tried to save the businessman and the five other victims of the fatal New Year's Eve seaplane crash.

Simon and Andrew Cousins have arrived in Sydney to take home the bodies of their sibling, 58, his sons William, 23, and Edward, 25, his fiancee Emma Bowden, 48, and her daughter Heather, 11.

They paid tribute to the holidaying friends Todd Sellars, Lachlan Hewitt and Kurt Bratby who risked their lives diving into the Hawkesbury River just after the crash as aviation fuel leaked from the plane.

NSW police and salvage personnel work to recover the wreckage of the wing of the seaplane that crashed into Jerusalem Bay. Picture: Mick Tsikas
NSW police and salvage personnel work to recover the wreckage of the wing of the seaplane that crashed into Jerusalem Bay. Picture: Mick Tsikas

"We would like to take this opportunity to thank all those involved for their dedication and commitment, in particular the Sydney Water Police and those members of the public who helped on the day of the ­accident," the brothers said in a statement released through the British Consulate General in Sydney.

As they faced the sad task of arranging the funerals, the tragedy has also shattered locals in Mr Cousins' home village of Hyde Heath, Buckinghamshire.

"Just today I went to the village shop and the lady who runs it was in tears. The whole cricket club turned out for them at the local pub on New Year's Day … we were all very close," local Caroline Capper said.

The Hyde Heath Village cricket team where Richard Cousins played cricket and lived in the village with his first wife Caroline. Team picture showing Richard (bottom right) and his son Will (back row third from left)
The Hyde Heath Village cricket team where Richard Cousins played cricket and lived in the village with his first wife Caroline. Team picture showing Richard (bottom right) and his son Will (back row third from left)

Ms Capper, who with her husband, John, lived next door to Mr Cousins for 18 years, said that being a villager gave the high-flying boss of the world's biggest catering firm, Compass, the "chance of normal life".

Richard Cousins playing cricket.
Richard Cousins playing cricket.

A much-loved part of that was the local Hyde Heath Cricket Club. He was a committee member, passionate part-time player and when the club unveiled its new scoreboard in 2016, they dedicated it, in part, to his late wife Caroline who died in 2015 of cancer.

"Sometimes when his plane didn't land until 2, he would still go home, have a shower and walk over if not to play maybe just to sit, umpire, have a chat," Ms Capper said.

The Cappers said they received the invitation to Mr Cousins' July wedding to Ms Bowden on December 30. It was to be held at London's exclusive, Hurlingham Club.

The next day they woke to the news of the seaplane crash half a world away.

"I just can't compute what has happened. I look out the windows from our house to theirs and realise that they are all gone … they are all dead," Ms Capper said.

The parents of Pilot Gareth Morgan Dudley and Orlis Morgan arrive with other family members. Picture: John Grainger
The parents of Pilot Gareth Morgan Dudley and Orlis Morgan arrive with other family members. Picture: John Grainger


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