Coast Guard, partner agencies rescues man from downed aircraft east of Juno Beach

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami crew approaches a life raft with one survivor aboard Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Coast Guard photo)

An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami crew approaches a life raft with one survivor aboard Thursday, Feb. 28, 2019. (Coast Guard photo)

JUNO BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard along with the Palm Beach Sheriff’s office rescued a man from the water after his small aircraft went down 18 miles east of Juno Beach.

Rescued was, Robert Lillard, 51.

Coast Guard 7th District command center watchstanders received a notification simultaneously from a registered Personal Locator Beacon and the Federal Aviation Administration reporting the downed aircraft.

The Coast Guard issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast and launched an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Miami, the Coast Guard Cutter Finback (WPB-87314), a 45-foot Response Boat-Medium crew and a 33-foot Special Purpose Craft-Law Enforcement crew from Coast Guard Station Lake Worth Inlet to assist the Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office in the search.

The MH-65 Dolphin helicopter crew arrived on scene and located a life raft with one person in it. The Palm Beach Sheriff’s Office surface unit arrived on scene embarked the survivor and confirmed that he was the only passenger aboard the aircraft.

Lillard was safely transferred to Phil Foster Boat Ramp with no reported injuries.

“This type of incident reiterates the importance of having a registered PLB to guarantee personal safety during air or sea transport,” said Sean Connett, Coast Guard 7th District command duty officer. “Thanks to the PLB, Lillard was rescued, which prevented a bad situation from getting worse”

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