Coast Guard rescues two from downed aircraft off Monterey coast

Pacific Southwest Coast Guard NewsMONTEREY, Calif. — The Coast Guard, in coordination with state and federal agencies, rescued two people from a downed Cessna airplane that landed in the water off the Monterey coast Sunday.

The Coast Guard received a report of a mayday call at 3:06 p.m. from an aircraft approximately 38 nautical miles northwest of Morro Bay, Calif.

The Coast Guard responded with one MH-65 helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station San Francisco, one MH-65 helicopter rescue crew from Coast Guard Air Station Los Angeles and rescue boat crews from Coast Guard Station Monterey and Coast Guard Station Morro Bay.

The Cessna’s location was quickly identified because the owner had a GPS encoded Personal Locator Beacon on board the aircraft that had been registered with the National Oceanic Atmospheric Administration.

The helicopter crew from Air Station San Francisco successfully rescued the two individuals from the Cessna, which was overturned and partially submerged when the Coast Guard arrived on scene.

Aircraft from other agencies — the Civil Air Patrol, the California Highway Patrol and Customs and Border Protection — were involved in helping to spot the downed aircraft.

The individuals were transported to Paso Robles and declined medical attention.

“There were two EPIRBS on board the aircraft,” said Ed Skinner, 11th Coast Guard District search and rescue controller, referring to an Electronic Position Indicating Radio Beacon. “One was a PLB with what’s called an e-solution. The e-solution can be hooked up to a GPS on the COSPAS SARSAT system which gave us a clear position. That was instrumental in getting us on scene quickly.”

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