WATSON ISLAND, Fla. (WSVN) — Aviation officials are investigating after, they said, the pilot of a seaplane plunged into Biscayne Bay near PortMiami, causing the aircraft to flip over.
Miami-Dade Fire Rescue, Miami-Dade Police, U.S. Coast Guard and Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission crews responded to the scene in the main ship channel at PortMiami, late Sunday morning.
“We received a mayday call,” said Miami-Dade Fire Rescue Firefighter Yovan Sanchez.
According to the Federal Aviation Administration, the Cessna A185 seaplane touched down near the Miami Seaplane Base, at around 11:45 a.m.
“Once we heard that it was in the main ship channel, we ran down to our boat, got into the vessel, go to the plane down within a couple of minutes,” said Sanchez.
Officials said the pilot was able to make it out of the overturned seaplane with the help of a good Samaritan who helped him on board his boat.
Divers searched the water and determined that the pilot was the only person on board.
“The victim was coming out of the water, and we were able to clear the plane of any other possible victims,” said Sanchez.
FWC said the pilot suffered several scratches and bruises to his forehead. Paramedics transported him to Jackson Memorial Hospital as a precaution.
The outcome of this rough landing is remarkable, said Sanchez, especially when considering the challenges on the water that, to rescuers, pose greater risks than more routine calls.
“When we get to a car collision or a house fire, the house doesn’t really move. When we get to a boat fire or a vessel collision, you have wind and current affecting your scene,” he said, “and then you have the possibility that your patients may disappear.”
Hours later, 7News cameras captured the seaplane being towed out of Biscayne Bay.
As authorities comb through evidence to find the cause of the crash, the FAA released a statement that read in part, “A Cessna A185 seaplane made a water landing and flipped over near the Miami Seaplane Base, Miami, FL today at 11:45 a.m. … The FAA will investigate.”
The National Transportation Safety Board is also investigating.
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