Coast Guard medevacs 4 after plane crash

USCG File Photo

NEW ORLEANS— The Coast Guard medevaced four people, Saturday, after their plane went down 170 miles south of New Orleans in the Gulf of Mexico.

Rescued were Gary Intravia, from Mandeville, La., Kelly McHugh, from Madisonville, La., Ken Ross and Greg Drude, from Hammond, La.

Watchstanders at Coast Guard District Eight Command Center received a report at approximately 2:20 p.m., from the Federal Aviation Administration stating that a Malibu P46 aircraft with four people aboard had to conduct a water landing in the Gulf of Mexico. An MH-65C Dolphin rescue helicopter and crew from Coast Guard Air Station New Orleans, the Coast Guard Cutter Pompano, an 87-foot patrol boat homeported in Gulfport, Miss., and a HC-144 Ocean Sentry aircraft and crew from Coast Guard Aviation Training Center, Mobile, Ala., were all deployed to the scene.

The crew of the West Sirius, a mobile offshore drilling unit in the vicinity of the crash, deployed a fast response boat and was able to recover all four people alive from a life raft and transported them back to the West Sirius where they were given an initial evaluation by the MODU’s medical staff. The Coast Guard’s MH-65C landed on the West Sirius and is taking the four people to West Jefferson Medical Center in Marrero, La., for further evaluation.

“Training and preparation potentially saved their lives,” said Lt. Cliff Beard, search and rescue coordinator at District Eight’s Command Center. “They had the presence of mind to prepare their life raft and don their life jackets prior to the water landing. They also communicated pertinent information such as their location, how many of them there were and what color their life raft was.”

There are no reports of serious injury.

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