Madagascar minister Serge Gelle is one of two survivors to swim 12 hours to shore after their helicopter crashed on the island’s northeastern coast.

The number of people killed in the accident has risen to 64 with at least 20 others still missing, the maritime agency has said

“It’s not my time to die,” exhausted Gelle said as he recovered on a stretcher.

He, 57, said the helicopter came down after it caught a gust of wind, and he swam from “7:30 last night , until 7:30 this morning,” to Mahambo.

He said he had no injuries but added that he was feeling cold.

“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,” Mr Gelle told locals at Mahambo.

Another security official travelling with him in the helicopter also survived the crash.

The team had been flying to inspect the site of a shipwreck in the north-east of the country on Monday night.

On Twitter President Andry Rajoelina mourned those who died and also paid tribute to Mr Gelle and the other officer, who arrived in the seaside town of Mahambo separately.

The helicopter’s pilot and another military officer on board are still missing, he said.