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4 hurt as second plane ditches off Oahu

  • HAWAII NEWS NOW
    Coast Guard crews help passengers rescued from a plane that ditched off Barbers Point Sunday.
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Coast Guard personnel responded to a pair of emergency landings in Hawaiian waters on Sunday.

Four people were injured Sunday evening when a single-engine Cessna traveling from Hanapepe, Kauai, to Kalaeloa, Oahu made an emergency water landing 11 miles off of Barbers Point after running out of fuel.

A Coast Guard MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew located and recovered all four passengers. The three adults and one child were flown to Barbers Point Coast Guard Air Station, where they were transferred to Emergency Medical Services for treatment of exposure injuries.

The pilot of the aircraft first contacted the air traffic control facility at Honolulu Airport at 6:18 p.m. to report that the plane was running out of fuel.

The aircraft disappeared from radar less than 10 minutes later.

Earlier in the day, the Coast Guard teamed with a Holland America Line cruise ship to rescue the pilot of a single-engine plane that ditched some 253 miles off Maui on Sunday afternoon.

The pilot, en route from Tracy, Calif., to Kahului, contacted the Hawaii National Guard around 12:30 p.m. to report that the single-propeller aircraft, a Cirrus SR-22, had about three hours of fuel remaining and would be ditching in waters northeast of Maui.

The Coast Guard launched an HC-130 Hercules airplane and an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter from Barbers Point.

The MS Veendam, on its way to Lahaina, was enlisted to help in the effort and officials at the Coast Gard Joint Rescue Coordination Center in Honolulu coordinated the pilot’s ditch near its location.

The pilot was able to safely lower the plane into the water via the built-in Cirrus Airframe Parachute System, an emergency full-plane parachute.

Once the plane was on the water, the pilot got out of the cockpit and safely onto a life raft.

Amidst 9- to 12-foot seas and 25 to 28 mph winds, the pilot was safely brought aboard the ship around 

5:21 p.m. and was reported to be in good condition. 

The HC-130 assisted the pilot during the process of ditching his aircraft and maintained communications throughout the ditching process. The Hercules crew remained on scene until the pilot was safely aboard the Veendam.

Passengers aboard the Veendam reported via social media and a message board that the outside decks were closed off and passengers were directed to return to their cabins while the rescue operation was underway.

The plane was last seen partially submerged.

Specifications for the SR-22 indicate that the aircraft has a fuel capacity of 92 gallons and a range of 1,207 miles at 65 percent power, but other factors can come into play, including auxiliary tanks and wind speed and direction. Tracy, Calif., is 2,389 miles from Kahului.

Sunday’s rescue was the third time this month that a Holland America ship has participated in an ocean rescue.

On Jan. 3, the MS Zuiderdam rescued eight crew members from a sinking Bahamas interisland boat. A day later, the MS Zaandam picked up seven Polish nationals from a yacht that ran aground at King George Island in Antarctica.

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