Seaplane “In Distress” 250 Miles Off Bermuda

August 29, 2018 | 2 Comments

On Saturday [Aug 25], an Albatross Seaplane with five persons onboard “was in distress” approximately 250 miles west-southwest of Bermuda, and a rescue effort saw all five people successfully recovered by a merchant vessel.

A Bermuda Maritime Operations Centre spokesperson said, “Rescue Coordination Centre Bermuda was contacted by colleagues in RCC Norfolk reporting that an Albatross Seaplane with five persons onboard, was in distress approximately 250 miles west-southwest of Bermuda.

“The aircraft, working for a U.S. university, deliberately landed in this position to carry out some research, but is now damaged and unable to take off.

“A USCG C-130 aircraft was dispatched to area while merchant vessel Polar Peru also requested to assist. The five survivors were recovered by Polar Peru for onward transfer to USS Mason [DDG 87] and transfer back to the United States. The aircraft is reported still afloat and a Notice to Mariners issued accordingly.”

A separate statement from the United States Coast Guard said, “The Coast Guard coordinated the rescue of five persons from a seaplane, which had to make an emergency landing, approximately 460 miles east southeast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, Saturday.

“The seaplane left Elizabeth City, North Carolina, early Saturday morning and was forced to make the emergency landing after striking an object during take-off, which damaged the aircraft’s front node. Everyone aboard the aircraft donned their life jackets upon landing on the water.

“Watchstanders at the Coast Guard 5th District command center were notified of the distressed plane Saturday afternoon 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 the 754-foot Liberian bulk carrier, Polar Peru, which was transiting nearby. The crew of the Polar Peru arrived on scene and 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.

“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 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.”

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  1. Eve says:

    What kind of pilot strikes something in the water on takeoff and then flies 460 miles out over the ocean risking the lives of all those aboard? This group is lucky to be alive!

  2. Triangle Drifter says:

    An Albatross? That is quite a large seaplane. Not many still airworthy. Some were stationed here at Kindley in the 60s when the USCG was here.

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