Man rescued from sunken seaplane after crashing off Florida coast
A man has been rescued from the roof of his sunken plane after it hit the ocean off the coast of Florida.
Local law enforcement, with the help of a special naval unit of Border Patrol and Customs, rescued the man after his plane went down about half a mile from George T. Louis Airport in Cedar Key, Florida.
The pilot got off his plane and stood on its roof to avoid drowning. It was the only occupant of the aircraft.
When rescuers found him, his plane was almost completely submerged, and its tail, parts of the cockpit, roof and propeller were above the water.
Having reached the pilot, the rescuers called on local EMS services to come to the scene of the accident to administer the aid.
Michael Mattis, deputy director of naval operations, issued a statement after the rescue praising the customers and law enforcement officers who participated.
“Situational awareness and the swift actions of the Naval Intercepting Agents and Vice Mayors prevented a potential human tragedy,” he said. “We are grateful that we have the appropriate resources and trained personnel to perform when such incidents occur themselves.”
Citrus County Mayor Mike Bridgest issued a similar statement praising his deputies.
“Thanks to extensive training and intense instincts,” he wrote, “AMO agents and our deputies knew exactly how to respond to this situation and facilitated the swift rescue of this individual.”
The plane crashed shortly after taking off from a nearby runway.
According to the authorities, the pilot was not hurt.
CBP has not released detailed information on the cause of the collapse.