Sunday , October 1 2023

Private plane crahes into sea in St. Maarten – all passengers rescued

The Daily Herald reports this morning that three people were rescued after a private airplane crashed into the sea yesterday afternoon.

The survivors of the plane crash were brought to Bobby’s Marina where they were met by paramedics.  (John Halley photo)
The survivors of the plane crash were brought to Bobby’s Marina where they were met by paramedics.
(John Halley photo)

The plane, a 1977 six-seat Piper PA-23 250 Aztec F, had three people on board. It had left Grand Case Airport en route to St. Barths when both engines lost power. The pilot sent out a Mayday message and the plane descended into the sea approximately two miles Northeast of the coast of Guana Bay at 4:50pm.

The aircraft was owned by Wells Fargo Bank Northwest Na Trustee, a corporation registered in Utah, United States, and the two men and a woman on board were all American citizens. The aircraft was used regularly to fl y between St. Maarten, St. Barths and surrounding islands.

The rescue operation was coordinated between the Dutch and the French Coast Guards. Three Coast Guard boats and two Sea Rescue boats went in search of survivors, assisted by the Voyager ferry and a local helicopter. According to a press release issued by the Sint Maarten police
late last night, patrols also were sent to the Guana Bay and Dawn Beach areas to try to locate where the plane had gone down. “With the assistance of a witness the police were able to communicate with emergency services and direct them to where the aircraft had gone down,” police spokesman Inspector Ricardo Henson stated in the press release.

By 6:10 p.m. the crew of the Voyager had rescued the plane’s occupants from the rough seas. All three were alive and had no serious injuries. The aircraft had sunk to the bottom of the sea.

The three were taken to Bobby’s Marina by a Sea Rescue boat, where they were met by paramedics, were treated on the scene for facial injuries and were reported to have significant facial bruising. They were transported to St. Maarten Medical Center (SMMC) where they received further treatment.

“Due to good coordination and input from all emergency services and the Voyager all three victims were rescued before nightfall. An investigation into the cause of the incident will follow,” Henson said.

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