Commander in Chief of the Israeli Navy, Vice Adm. David Saar Salama and Israel Air Force Commander Maj. Gen. Amikam Norkin met Tuesday evening with the survivor of last night's deadly helicopter crash off the coast of Haifa, Capt. Ron Birman, at Rambam Hospital.
During the visit, the commanders talked to the injured man and his family and expressed their appreciation for the calmness and professionalism displayed by the officer during the incident.
Vice Adm. Salama told Capt. Berman: "You did everything you could, you acted responsibly, striving for contact. You are surrounded by both your family and your other family - Navy and Squadron 3. Hold on, I know you are strong, we are here for everything you need. We are waiting for you to come back."
Maj. Gen. Norkin added: "You acted with courage and composure, I am glad that you are alive. You're getting great care, so come back soon, they are waiting for you at home and also in the squadron."
Two pilots were killed in the crash. They have been identified as 38-year-old Lt.-Col. Erez Sahiyani of Ramat David, and 27-year-old Major Chen Fogel from Haifa.
Berman was able to escape from the helicopter following the crash and then went back for the other occupants. He also managed to contact a superior officer and inform him of the crash.