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Coast Guard, partners rescue two pilots from downed aircraft off Lanai

The Coast Guard, Maui County Fire Department and Molokai Fire Department rescued two pilots from a downed DA40 Diamond Star aircraft eight miles off Lanai, Saturday.

An Air Station Barbers Point MH-65 Dolphin helicopter aircrew rescued the pilots and brought them to awaiting emergency services at the air station. There were no major injuries reported.

“As a watchstander this is the type of outcome we want to see with every case,” said Lt. j.g. Makenzy Karnehm, a Coast Guard Joint Rescue Coordination Center watchstander. “Both the Coast Guard and our partners train together for incidents like this and once the call came in we were able to quickly mobilize a robust response and rescue the pilots.”

At 5:49 p.m., JRCC watchstanders received a report from Honolulu Control Facility stating the aircraft was experiencing engine trouble and was likely going to ditch in the water. 

Watchstanders issued an Urgent Marine Information Broadcast notice to mariners and deployed the Dolphin and Station Maui 45-foot Response Boat-Medium rescue crews.

Once on scene the Dolphin helicopter crew located the two pilots and deployed a rescue swimmer to give aid and hoist the pilots to safety.

Maui County and Molokai Fire Departments deployed air and surface assets to aid in the rescue.

The aircraft is reported to have sank and does not present a threat to navigation.

The cause of the incident is under investigation.

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