NEW ORLEANS — The Coast Guard rescued a man after his plane crashed in the
Gulf of Mexico approximately 8 miles southeast of Southwest Pass, Louisiana,
Watchstanders at the Eighth Coast Guard District received a distress alert
from an emergency locator transmitter at 11:46 a.m.
The transmitter’s location was approximately 8 miles southeast of Southwest
District watchstanders also received notification from the Houston Air Route
Traffic Control Center that a Southwest Airlines flight had relayed a mayday
call from an unknown aircraft.
The Houston Air Route Traffic Control Center also reported three helicopters
had received the international air distress frequency near the transmitter’s
District watchstanders directed the launch of Coast Guard crews to search
the transmitter’s location for signs of distress.
Involved in the search were:
- An MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew from Coast Guard
Air Station New Orleans
- A 45-Foot Response Boat-Medium crew from Coast Guard
- An HC-144 Ocean Sentry airplane crew from Coast Guard
Aviation Training Center Mobile
The helicopter crew arrived on scene at 1:04 p.m. and located the man, who
was the only person aboard the plane.
The man was in the water and wearing a life jacket.
The aircrew hoisted the man and transported him to West Jefferson Medical
Center in Marrero in stable condition.
“This is a great example of how being prepared can help the Coast Guard
locate and rescue you if you need assistance,” said Lt. Cmdr. Brian Ward, an
aircraft commander at Air Station New Orleans. “Wearing a life jacket and
having an emergency locator device onboard, including an emergency position
indicating radio beacon onboard a vessel, greatly increases your chances of
survival and being rescued.”