Tuesday, January 27, 2015

VIDEO AVAILABLE: Amver cruise ship rescues pilot from Pacific crash

The Amver participating cruise ship Veendam rescued a pilot from a single engine plane after he ditched the aircraft in the ocean 200 miles northeast of Maui on Sunday, January 25, 2015.

U.S. Coast Guard rescue authorities in Honolulu were notified by a Hawaii National Guard transport aircraft that a single engine Cirrus SR22 aircraft was experiencing fuel and engine difficulties and was going to ditch in the Pacific Ocean.

The pilot was flying from Tracy, California to Kahului, Maui when couldn't transfer fuel between tanks. Rescue personnel launched a Coast Guard C-130 aircraft and, using the Amver system, found the Holland America Line cruise ship Veendam in the path of the aircraft. The Dutch flagged cruise ship was notified and prepared to assist in rescue operations.

The pilot told rescue personnel he had a life jacket, life raft and his aircraft was equipped with a parachute system. The C-130 was able to communicate with the pilot via satellite phone and had visual contact during the entire rescue operation.

The captain of the 791-foot cruise ship reported waves were more than 10 feet and winds were 25 knots. "We've got a few plans for the rescue, including lowering a rescue boat or throwing the pilot a line," the captain reported to the Coast Guard.

 Can't see the video? Click here.

Once the aircraft hit the water the pilot got into his life raft and was quickly recovered by the crew of the Veendam. The pilot was uninjured and remained on the Veendam until it returned to port on Monday, January 26, 2014.

The Veendam enrolled in Amver on May 27, 1996 and has earned 18 Amver participation awards.

Video credit: USCG

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