The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of five persons from a seaplane that made an emergency ocean landing approximately 460 miles east southeast of Cape Hatteras on Saturday, Aug. 25.
The seaplane left Elizabeth City early Saturday morning and was forced to make an emergency landing after the aircraft’s front node was damaged by striking an object during take-off.
The Coast Guard was notified of the distressed plane 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 a 754-foot Liberian bulk carrier, Polar Peru, that was transiting nearby. The crew of the Polar Peru 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 12.
Coast Guard personnel from station Mayport were scheduled to meet USS Mason Monday morning to take the passengers to Mayport, Florida.
“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 Coast Guard 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.”