Police Constable Bernard Ical was reunited with his family this morning in Belmopan after getting lost in the jungle. At around ten o’clock this morning the media was out at the Police Training Academy to see Ical disembark the helicopter, meeting up up with his daughter and children following five days of worry and anxieties. Ical was first notably unaccounted for on Wednesday, September 2 in the remote area of Machakilha located in the jungles of the Toledo District. Day after day search parties combed the area looking for Ical; but it wasn’t until yesterday that the sound of a helicopter turned out to be his guide. PC Ical spoke to the media this morning.
PC Bernard Ical: “When I heard the helicopter I know he was going to one direction, to Machakilha so I said if I don’t go this direction I’m going to the wrong direction so the best way is to head to that place where the chopper takes off and maybe I can find my way. I feel grateful and thanks to God that I made it back alive to them. Out there in the jungle being alone it’s very sad and it’s the worst day of your life.”
This morning’s reunion was spearheaded by the Police Commissioner Chester Williams where he explained the search operations and his involvement in the south. According to the Commissioner it was Assistant Commissioner of Police Aaron Guzman who headed the search operations for the Police Department.
Chester Williams, Commissioner of Police: “Our search continued from the day he went missing and we ramped up the search party over the weekend. I personally went to Punta Gorda Town and assisted with the coordination of the search and then yesterday myself and the Minister we decided to do a fly over in the helicopter from Astrum and while we were doing so I told the pilot to hover over the Garcia Farm area because we believed that if it is that he was lost it could only be between Machakilha and Garcia Farm because that is the area that has many different picados that you can easily lose your bearing. And so we did that hovering over Garcia Farm for about twenty minutes yesterday hoping that PC Ical would be able to see the chopper and that would be able to give him the ability to catch back his bearings and make his way out of the jungle and thankful from what I have been briefed from PC Ical that hovering is what helped him yesterday to have been able to regain his bearing and made his way back to the Machakilha camp.”
The question that remains unanswered and that has carried a multitude of speculation is what really happened to Ical. The simple answer, according to the Police Constable, is that he merely got lost.
PC Bernard Ical: “From my view I was following the patrol and I lost sight of the patrol and then from there I must have taken the wrong track and from there I disappeared and got lost. What I did was try to backtrack and try to find the right track but I couldn’t make it and the patrol had already departed. The weather in the jungle is no joke but it was rough. Wind, rain, everything. My shelter sometimes I took it in the jungle. What helped me out there is like being in the jungle I got used to the bush life like what I learned from my bush life going through the SPU.”
Reporter: What was going through your mind through this ordeal out there ?
PC Bernard Ical: “Lots of things. I worried about my family. I worried if the people around me were worried. I worried about what would happen when I reached out and everything. I kept hope and strong minded.”
Love News understands that this was Ical’s third round in the area patrolling with the Belize Defence Force.