All Safe after Cessna Ditches in Bahamas

Five passengers rescued after 172 goes down.

Coast Guard Rescue

Coast Guard Rescue

U.S. Coast Guard photo from 2014
by Petty Officer 3rd Class Connie Terrell

Five survivors were plucked from the waters off Nassau, the capital of the Bahamas, late last night after ditching in a Cessna 172 and clambering into a life raft as the sun was going down.

The group floated in the water for three hours about nine miles southeast of Nassau before finally being located at 10:20 p.m. local time by a U.S. Coast Guard MH-60 helicopter.

The Cessna pilot reportedly radioed at around 7:23 p.m. that he was having engine problems on the planned flight from Crooked Islands in the Bahamas to Nassau, a distance of about 250 nm.

Among the five aboard was a small child being carried on one of the passengers' laps. After being located, the group was transported to Nassau aboard a Royal Bahamian Defence Force boat.

The Coast Guard said favorable weather conditions aided in the survivors' ability to successfully ditch and deploy their life raft while rescuers searched the dark seas for them.

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