Remains of SA man in MH17 crash identified

Stephen Coan, The Witness

Durban - The remains of the South African killed in the shooting down of the Malaysia Airlines flight over the Ukraine have been identified.

Cameron Dalziel, 43, a helicopter pilot, had moved with his family to Malaysia last year to fly for CHC Helicopter and was returning from a fixed-wing plane training course in the Netherlands when MH17 was shot down on 17 July.

Dalziel’s widow Reine and their two sons Cruz, 4, and Sheldon, 14, immediately returned to South Africa to join other family members at the home of Dalziel’s parents, Meryl and Doug, who live in Umhlanga.

Shortly after the incident, bodies from the crash site in the Ukraine were flown to the Netherlands. DNA swabs were taken from Dalziel’s parents to aid in identifying their son’s body. South African officials subsequently flew to the Netherlands with the swabs and Dalziel’s dental records.

The family received confirmation that Dalziel’s body had been identified last week.

A memorial service was held for Dalziel in the Starlite Aviation Hangar at Virginia Airport on 30 July. Dalziel had flown for Starlite before moving to Malaysia.

Last journey home

Speaking to The Witness on Sunday, Dalziel’s brother Campbell said he did not know exactly when his brother’s remains would return to South Africa. He said that he and his sister, Candice, would like to go to the Netherlands. “We would like to continue the honour and the dignity that was accorded to Cameron when his body was brought from the Ukraine to the Netherlands.

“We want to bring Cameron back. It will be his last journey home and we want to be there with him.”

Once Dalziel’s remains are in Durban a small family funeral service will be follow by a paddle-out, said Campbell. “We want people to take a surfboard and we are hoping them to line up in the number of the flight, MH17.”

Campbell said a fly-by was also in the planning stage.