Coast Guard responds to downed Key West airplane

KEY WEST, Fla., — Personnel from the Coast Guard, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC) and Key West Fire Rescue responded to a downed airplane in Cow Key Channel Friday night.

The Coast Guard was notified shortly after 10 p.m. Friday of a downed Cessna 172, “Skyhawk” aircraft. The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast, launched a Coast Guard Station Key West 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement vessel crew, and coordinated closely with FWC and Key West Fire Rescue personnel.

The aircraft, owned by Island City Flying Services, was operating out of Key West International Airport completing nighttime touch-and-go landings. The pilot of the aircraft was located by a good Samaritan approximately an hour after the plane went down. Key West Fire Rescue transported the pilot–who was confirmed to be the only person aboard–to Trauma Star for air evacuation to Jackson Memorial Hospital in Miami.

“We appreciate the good Samaritan’s efforts and our great team effort with our port partners,” said Capt. Pat DeQuattro, commander, Coast Guard Sector Key West. “Our thoughts and prayers are with the pilot for a speedy recovery.”

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