Police helicopter (file)
Police helicopter (file)Abir Sultan/Flash90

A minister in Madagascar's government survived a helicopter crash in the Indian Ocean and swam 12 hours back to shore this week.

Police Minister Serge Gelle was on a flight to inspect the site of a shipwreck out at sea when his helicopter crashed into the ocean Monday night.

Following the crash, Gelle swam all the way back to shore, a journey which he said took from "7:30 last night , until 7:30 this morning."

"I would just like you to broadcast this video for my family to see, my colleagues to see, the government members to see. [I am] alive and well," Gelle said in Mahambo.

Police chief Zafisambatra Ravoavy told AFP that Gelle had used a flotation device from the helicopter to remain afloat until he reached the shore.

A security official who was traveling with Gelle also survived the crash. The helicopter's pilot and another security official who was onboard are still missing.

85 people have been confirmed dead from the shipwreck which Gelle was heading to inspect. 50 people have been rescued from the wreck.