Nick walks away from an plane crash
Plane Crashes At South Beach; No Injuries
ZNS Staff Writer
Posted on: 2004-10-22 http://www.znsbahamas.com
Image Source: Nassau Guardian, October 23, 2004
EIGHT PASSENGERS and two crewmembers on board a Southern Air flight from Arthur's Town, Cat Island to Nassau miraculously walked away from the plane unhurt after it ditched in four feet of water off the southern tip of New Providence early Friday afternoon.
An elderly woman, who was the only female on the Beechcraft 1900 Series aircraft, had to be assisted in the deplaning exercise. However, her only complaint was that she jammed her hands when the plane hit the waters. There were no children on the 19-seat plane.
Randy Butler, an inspector with Civil Aviation Department, told reporters that an investigation has been launched into the crash and that the immediate area has been cordoned off and made sterilized. He expects teams from the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB) and the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) in Nassau over the weekend to assist in the investigation.
Butler said that some 20 minutes away from New Providence, the pilot radioed that he was experiencing engine trouble. The pilot, reportedly, decided on bringing the aircraft down at South Beach because it presented more favourable conditions under the circumstances.
South Beach at low tide has very little water levels near its shoreline, which enables someone to wade shore. Police Chief Superintendent Marvin Dames, who heads the Criminal Investigation Department, complimented the pilot on his good judgment, as he observed the partially submerged aircraft in about four to five feet of water.
According to Butler, the plane's left engine was the first to shutdown, followed shortly thereafter by the right one. Butler declined to speculate on the cause of the engines failure, and informed reporters that his department's approach to a crash is always done in a scientific way. Dames said the police received the call of a plane crash around 2:45 p.m. Friday and sent uniformed and plainclothes police officers to the scene. They were soon joined by members from the Royal Bahamas Defence Force, and officers from the Civil Aviation Department.
After disembarking the aircraft, the passengers and two pilots waded to the shoreline where they waited until emergency medical service vehicles arrived at the scene and transported them to the Princess Margaret Hospital for routine checks.
Later, the Defence Force assisted in removing the passengers' luggage from the plane, where they were examined by members of the Drug Enforcement Unit of the Royal Bahamas Police Force. Veronica Clarke, an eyewitness to the crash, said she and members of her family were out for an early afternoon swim at South Beach when she observed a plane flying unusually low.
Fearing for her life and the safety of her daughter and two grandchildren, Clarke quickly left the water but continued to watch the plane as it got closer to the surface.
Another eyewitness said when he saw the plane in the water, he went out to assist asking if anyone was hurt.
Copied from: http://www.znsbahamas.com
Also reported in the Nassau Guardian