PHILIPSBURG:--- An Aztec Piper Twin Engine Aircraft ditched into the sea about one and half miles east of Guana Bay on Monday afternoon when both of its engines failed.
St. Maarten Sea Rescue responded to the scene minutes after the incident and managed to rescue all three persons that were on board the aircraft.
SMN News understands that the aircraft left St. Barths and was on its way to the Grand Case Airport when the pilot realized both engines on the aircraft had failed. A member of the St. Maarten Sea Rescue said the pilot then decided to ditch into the sea to avoid a serious crash. In doing so, he managed to save the lives of all three persons on board.
Twin engine aircraft ditches in sea, all three victims rescued.
On Monday, January 27th, 2014 at approximately 4:55pm, the Central Police Dispatch received conformation from the tower at the Princes Juliana International Airport, that a twin engine propeller aircraft had ditched into the sea approximately 2 miles North-East of Sint Maarten. The Aztec aircraft with a pilot and two passengers were on route from Sint Barths to the Grand Case Airport. The aircraft had possibly encountered engine problems causing the pilot to ditch at sea. Immediately after receiving this information police patrols were sent to the Guana Bay and Dawn Beach area to try to locate where the plane had gone down. Other emergency services such as the Sint Maarten Sea Rescue, Coast Guard and French emergency services including a helicopter were sent out to search for the victims. With the assistance of a witness, the police was able to communicate with emergency services and direct them to where the aircraft had gone down. At 06:10pm, all three victims had been rescued from the rough seas by the Voyager and handed over to the Sint Maarten Sea Rescue. The pilot and his two passengers suffered minor cuts and bruises and were transported by ambulance to the Sint Maarten Medical Center for medical 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.
KPSM Police Report