Coast Guard rescues downed pilot minutes after crash near Hernando Beach, Florida

Southeastern Coast Guard NewsHERNANDO BEACH, Fla. — The Coast Guard rescued a downed pilot minutes after his aircraft crashed approximately one mile west of Hernando Beach, Wednesday.

The Federal Aviation Administration received an emergency distress signal at 11:15 a.m., and contacted Coast Guard Sector St. Petersburg watchstanders for assistance.

The downed pilot swam from the wreckage to a nearby marsh where he called 911, reported his location and requested assistance.

An MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter crew from Coast Guard Air Station Clearwater arrived on scene at 11:45 a.m., hoisted the man and transported him to the air station where he was released in good condition.

We were called by the sector watchstanders who were in good communication with the FAA about the incident,” said Petty Officer 3rd Class Jayson Marrero, a crewmember aboard the Jayhawk. “Although we had very low visibility, we were able to get to the scene and hoist him quickly.”

The incident is under investigation by the FAA.

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