Jim Jefferies' Nephew Feared Dead After Army Helicopter Crash

The Australian comedian remembered his nephew as 'a kind, hard-working, sweet, honest human' in an emotional tribute post.

The nephew of Australian comedian Jim Jefferies is among the four men feared dead after an Australian Army helicopter crashed over the weekend. The missing MRH-90 Taipan was part of a joint military exercise as part of Operation Talisman Sabre when it crashed near Lindeman Island in Queensland, Australia at around 10:30 p.m. on Friday. All four men aboard the aircraft – Jeffries' nephew Lieutenant Maxwell Nugent, Captain Danniel Lyon, Warrant Officer Class Two Joseph Laycock, and Corporal Alexander Naggs – are missing and feared dead.

According to News7, as search and rescue operations continued over the weekend, "significant wreckage" has been uncovered. Defence Minister Richard Marles said the discovery indicates the crew, all members of the army's highly skilled 6th Aviation Richmond Unit, were killed in a "catastrophic incident." He added that "it's now clear that any hope" of finding the six men alive "has been lost. They died on Friday night making a difference." Marles confirmed that the families have been notified of the discovery and development and authorities would continue efforts to recover their bodies, adding that "hundreds" of personnel will be involved in the "determined recovery effort" and promised a "full investigation ... to understand exactly what happened and learn the lessons from it."

Amid the tragedy, Jeffries has reportedly flown back to be with his family in Australia from the US, 7News reported, per the Daily Mail. The comedian took to Instagram Monau to pay special tribute to his nephew, the son of senior NSW Police Force officer Daniel Nugent, stating that his nephew "died in a tragic helicopter accident that included 3 other soldiers... My heart goes out to these three families, knowing the pain they are feeling and that their lives will never be the same."

"I remember the day Max was born. He was my brother and sister-in-law's first child, and the first grandchild on both sides of his family. He couldn't have been more loved and welcomed into this world. We had high hopes for Max and he didn't disappoint," he continued. "Over the years, I have had the absolute pleasure watching him grow into the man he became: a kind, hard-working, sweet, honest human. He led his life with honor and respect and was just a great bloke. He's someone I always admired, and I was so proud to call him my nephew. I still am."

Jeffries concluded the heartbreaking post, "This tragedy reminds us of the risks that come with those jobs, and the immense bravery of those who choose to stick their necks out every day so that we feel safe. I wish I had the chance to say goodbye. Max, thank you so much mate. I love you."