Discussion in 'News & Announcements' started by gillettehunter, Apr 8, 2017.
R.I.P and my condolences to the family
Whilst this has been a very traumatic experience for everyone involved, can I just thank you for bringing this community together and trying tirelessly to support Scott's family in this difficult time. You are to be commended for your role in this, as should Salome for keeping us all updated as to progress.
Many thanks to you both and can I once again extend my deepest sympathies to Scott's family and wish them comfort in the coming weeks and months.
Joint press statement Issued by the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guide Association (ZPHGA), Limpopo Hunters Liaison Forum (LHLF) and the Professional Hunters’ Association of South Africa (PHASA) with consent from Scott van Zyl’s family.
SAFARI FRATERNITY MOURNS LOSS OF SCOTT VAN ZYL - Search and Rescue Events Unfolded
BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE & JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA - The safari fraternity is mourning the loss of Scott van Zyl (44) after the Heritage Protection Group (HPG) confirmed the positive results of the DNA tests conducted by Authorities on the identity of the remains found in the stomachs of three Nile crocodiles.
Van Zyl went missing on April 7 while assisting Zimbabwean operator, Tokkie van der Merwe, on a safari in the Chikwarakwara area of the Beitbridge East district bordering South Africa.
This is how the search and rescue operation unfolded:
Saturday, 8 April 2017:
As soon as he realised that Van Zyl was missing, Van Der Merwe contacted the Zimbabwe Professional Hunters and Guides Association (ZPHGA) as well as the Limpopo Hunters Liaison Forum (LHLF) and activated a search and rescue operation. The ZPHGA/LHLF then contacted various operators in the area on both sides of the South African and Zimbabwean border for ground and air support.
Before last light, a group of local fishermen directed the ground team to Van Zyl’s backpack lying on the Zimbabwean bank of the Limpopo River.
Sunday, 9 April 2017:
Helicopter pilot, Nick La Grange, surveyed the area without finding further clues to Van Zyl’s disappearance.
The effort was bolstered by ground teams from the South African side of the Limpopo River. Nothing further could be established in the interior of the area with all solid clues pointing to the Limpopo River.
A request was made to secure the services of a Sub-Aqua Team to search in the Limpopo River itself.
Monday, 10 April 2017:
Members and volunteers of the various organisations involved in the search and rescue operations assisted by providing the search parties with much needed fuel and equipment, relieving the ground crews, and transporting the Sub-Aqua Team from Bulawayo.
The convoy met up with regional representatives of the Zimbabwe Tourism Authority (ZTA) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police in Beitbridge, before proceeding to an accessible point close to the scene, arriving well into the night.
The hunting fraternity across the world was called upon to support the search and rescue efforts financially.
Tuesday, 11 April 2017:
All efforts from both sides of the Limpopo were focused on assisting the Sub-Aqua team in a comprehensive search of the Limpopo River over approximately 300 meters around the site where Van Zyl’s backpack was found. The divers and support teams failed to turn up any new evidence.
Wednesday, 12 April 2017:
The Sub-Aqua team continued underwater grid searches throughout the morning. This was discontinued at lunch-time, where after a joint decision was made by representatives of the Zimbabwe Parks and Wildlife Management Authority (ZPWMA) and the Beitbridge Rural District Council (BBRDC) to permit the shooting of three Nile crocodiles as part of the investigation. Two crocodiles were shot late on Wednesday afternoon.
Thursday, 13 April 2017:
The crocodiles were recovered and post mortems were conducted at the scene. Stomach contents were collected and taken by the South African Police Services (SAPS) and the Zimbabwe Republic Police (ZRP) for forensic and DNA analysis.
Friday, 14 April 2017:
A third crocodile was recovered and the post mortem produced the toe-cap of a CAT boot similar to that worn by Van Zyl when he disappeared.
After communication with Van Zyl’s family, it was agreed that everything possible had been done to locate Scott and that the search was called off, pending the results of the forensic and DNA analysis.
Thursday, 20 April 2017:
Test results from South African authorities confirmed that samples from the stomach contents of the harvested crocodiles matched the DNA of Van Zyl.
“Our hearts go out to Scott’s wife, Suré, and their two children. Scott was a true family man who lived life to the fullest. He will be remembered for the passion he had for his profession and life in general,” says Phillip Bronkhorst, chairman of the Limpopo Hunters Liaison Forum (LHLF).
Van Zyl was the owner of SS Pro Safaris, situated in the Lephalale district of Limpopo, South Africa, and served on the LHLF’s executive committee. He was a keen hounds man and passionate about sustainable utilisation and especially leopard research. He will be sorely missed by colleagues and clients from across the globe.
The Zimbabwean and South African associations and organisations involved in the search and rescue operation, would like to thank members, donors and volunteers for their unselfish support during the past two weeks, particularly those who offered their time, equipment and financial means.
A special commendation to the ZRP Sub-Aqua team who conducted their searches in a dedicated and professional manner, despite the dangerous and trying conditions.
Sensitive information has been withheld so as not to influence the ongoing investigation into events on Friday, April 7, that led to the disappearance of Scott Van Zyl.
That is an ominous last sentence. I hate to speculate but I make my money in the real world reading between the lines. This doesn't read well.
I also agree that it doesn't read that well, but my read between the lines interpretation makes sense, given what I would consider odds of various scenarios happening. Hopefully their investigation is successful.
Certainly not my place to play detective, however, based on what has been posted here, Scott doesn't seem to be the type of person who would allow himself to be caught unaware by Croc's.
why not wait and see what the professional come up with?
That's what is bothering me. Scott was an amazing professional. Something just not making sense.
If you would like to use your imagination.
This is the noisy company that accompanied Scott.
As a dog man, I know hard working dogs need water and they are bloody noisy when they get to it.
I'll go with the simplest explanation until proven otherwise.
RIP. Condolences to the family.
In the little time we knew Scott, selfless, caring, humble, honest and kind are some of the words that comes to mind. He had such a passion for people, always helped wherever he could and never asked for anything in return. That was Scott’s story. To Scott's wife, Suré and their two children, there are so few comforting words when we need them most. Our deepest sympathy. It’s hard to forget someone who gave so much to remember!
The memory of Scott will always remain in our hearts.
Once again I would like to thank each and everyone of you from africahunting, Jerome, thank you. The support we received from this platform was enormous and did not go unnoticed. I will try my best to pass on all the messages on this thread to Suré.
Thank you for all you have done during this terrible situation Salome. As horrible as this has been, it really drives home just how compassionate and caring the hunting community is, especially the family at AH. I'm proud to be associated with this community. I will also continue to pray for peace for Sure and the kids. I cannot imagine the pain they must be going thru. God bless everyone involved in the SAR and those around the globe doing what they could through prayer.
I too would like to thank the AH community for coming together and opening their hearts as they did.
A positive that came from these very unfortunate events is that we proved that we hunters can and will stand together in time of need.
Thank you to everyone that contributed - both through prayer and through their pocket books.
Jerome, thank you for the opportunity!
is it not time to stop beating the dead horse and let the family rest and try to deal with this tragedy on their own?
amen to that
I have attempted to be polite and use indirect methods to moderate. It has not worked. So I will now be direct. Any further speculations in this thread will be deleted.
If you would like to start a thread speculating on this fine man's sad demise please do so elsewhere.
Take Edwards's polite suggestion: It is time to let the family grieve.
Condolences to the family on their loss.
Rest in peace, Scott; prayers for Sure and her family, and thanks and utmost admiration for the work done by everyone.
Vaya con Dios, to all..
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