Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of five persons from a seaplane,
which had to make an emergency landing, approximately 460 miles east
southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Saturday.
The seaplane left Elizabeth City, North Carolina,
early Saturday morning and was forced to make the emergency landing
after striking an object during take-off, which damaged the aircraft’s
front node. Everyone aboard the aircraft donned their life jackets upon
landing on the water.
Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District
command center were notified of the distressed plane Saturday afternoon
by the International Emergency Response Coordination Center. An HC-130
Hercules aircraft was launched from Air Station Elizabeth City to
monitor the situation.
The Coast Guard utilized the Automated Mutual
Assistance Vessel Rescue System to divert the 754-foot Liberian bulk
carrier, Polar Peru, which was transiting nearby. The crew of the Polar
Peru arrived on scene and transferred the five persons onto their
vessel Saturday night.
The U.S. Navy diverted USS Mason (DDG 87) to
rendezvous with Polar Peru to transport the rescued seaplane passengers
back to the United States. The guided-missile destroyer was underway
conducting operations in the Atlantic Ocean with Carrier Strike Group
Coast Guard personnel from station Mayport are
scheduled to meet USS Mason Monday morning to take the passengers to
“We were able to get help for the seaplane by
initiating an alert through the Automated Mutual Assistance Vessel
Rescue System,” said Lt. Daniel Dunn, the command duty officer at the
5th District command center. “We encourage commercial mariners to
enroll their vessels in this system which helps to coordinate emergency
assistance from nearby vessels at sea. We would also like to commend
the crew on how prepared they were for an emergency situation. They had
all the required safety equipment, like life jackets, to ensure they
would survive while response units were en route.”