Four people rescued after plane crash lands off Barbers Point
COAST GUARD AIR STATION BARBERS POINT, OAHU (HawaiiNewsNow) - Four people, including an infant, suffered minor injuries after their single-engine Cessna crash-landed in waters 11 miles off Leeward Oahu.
The U.S. Coast Guard said the pilot declared a flight emergency at 6:18 p.m. Sunday about 30 miles west of Oahu due to a fuel shortage
Less than 10 minutes later, the flight disappeared from radar and lost communications.
The Coast Guard launched it's helicopter crew from Barbers Point, a boat and a cutter from Coast Guard Station Honolulu, and diverted a HC-130 Hercules airplane crew who were previously involved in another rescue.
The helicopter team says they got on scene shortly after sunset. They searched for a bit and saw a light in the water. Aircraft Commander LCDR Clay Clary says that's the only thing they saw, they didn't seen any aircraft wreckage. He says once they came down into a hover, they noticed the light was attached to a life jacket and saw the survivors. They deployed their rescue swimmer and lowered their rescue basket and successfully rescued all four people.
"The first person we picked up did not have a life jacket on so I think that person had been treading water for probably about an hour. So very lucky to find them," said LCDR Clary.
"Seeing the small child and seeing how small and in fact young it was, was emotional. But you just get it done and get them out of there so it's over from them," said rescue swimmer Donnie Walker.
Officials said the infant is less than a year old. The other three passengers on board included a 22-year-old female, a 24-year-old male, and a 37-year-old male.
The helicopter landed at the Coast Guard Air Station Barbers Point with all four survivors on board and they were passed on to emergency personnel who were already on scene on standby ready to take over. Everyone on board were reported to be in stable condition.
"I don't think that anyone could ask for a better end to that story," said Walker.
"You put a plane into a water like that, all four go in and all four come out and everyone walked away, I think that's a pretty good day," he said.
According to authorities, the single engine Cessna was headed to Kalaeloa, Oahu from Hanapepe, Kauai.
The crash-landing comes only hours after another plane which originated from California had to be ditched off the coast of Maui due to a fuel shortage.
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