Coast Guard crews safely pluck pilot from Gulf of Mexico after plane crash

Published 8:42 am Monday, September 16, 2019

A U.S. Coast Guard helicopter search and rescue crew pulled a pilot to safety after his small plane crashed into the Gulf of Mexico Sunday morning.

The man was rescued approximately 8 miles southeast of Southwest Pass, Louisiana, near the mouth of the Mississippi River, the Coast Guard reported.

Coast Guard crews received a distress alert from an emergency locator transmitter at 11:46 a.m. They also received notification from the Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center that a Southwest Airlines flight had relayed a mayday call from an unknown aircraft.

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The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center also reported three helicopters had received the international air distress frequency near the transmitter’s location.

Coast Guard crews launched to search the transmitter’s location for signs of distress.

Involved in the search were:

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans
A 45-Foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard Station Venice
An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center Mobile
The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 1:04 p.m. and located the man, who was the only person aboard the plane.

The man was in the water and wearing a life jacket.

The aircrew hoisted the man and transported him to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero in stable condition.

“This is a great example of how being prepared can help the Coast Guard locate and rescue you if you need assistance,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Ward, an aircraft commander at Air Station New Orleans. “Wearing a life jacket and having an emergency locator device onboard, including an emergency position indicating radio beacon onboard a vessel, greatly increases your chances of survival and being rescued.”

The pilot’s identity and the nature of the crash were not released