Two men survive small plane crash

Small plane crashes into Richardson Bay
July 2, 2011 12:16:03 AM PDT
A small plane crashes into Richardson Bay and the two people onboard are OK. The two-engine plane started sinking immediately, but thanks to quick work by the U.S. Coast Guard and a nearby boat, both passengers were quickly plucked off the plane.

Sausalito police said the pilot is a 75-year-old local resident. He and his passenger are fine.

A person caught video of the hydroplane attempting to take off just off Bridgeway Boulevard in Sausalito. In the video, you can see the plane starting to take off and then apparently hitting a wake. It then flipped nose first into Richardson Bay.

One man was sitting in a restaurant as the plane went by and described the plane crash. He said the plane appeared to be floating along and then the pilot gunned the engine, took off and went right by the restaurant at a pretty good speed. The plane started to go airborne and hit a wake from a boat, the plane shot up then came slamming down on the water.

Jennifer Franake saw the plane and immediately started taking pictures as her boyfriend called 911.

"It did bounce a few times. They actually did skim the water, they actually didn't bounce to any great height at all, it pretty much skimmed the water," said Franake.

Sausalito Police Chief Jennifer Tejada says the event is being called a plane incident not an accident.

"It either caught a wake in the water or it was pilot error, but the plane flipped over, it had two occupants, two males, both were able to get out of the plane without any injuries. They were taken to shore by some private boaters," said Tejada.

Octavia Geraghty watched the rescue from her home.

"They had to like swim or paddle, or whatever you call it, 15 feet or something to the tugboat and then they got on," said Geraghty.

Both people were given medical attention but did not require hospitalization. The event drew a huge crowd that gathered to see where the plane went down, no more than a hundred yards off shore.

Jennifer Franake and Mark Kahn provided ABC7 with photos who were looking out of their Sausalito condo at 7:28 p.m. They show the two-seater plane as it sits in the water.

Sausalito police say there were no drugs or alcohol involved in this incident. They are now trying to figure out how to get that plane out of Richardson Bay.


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