Princess Cruises crew save 2 passengers after small plane crashes at sea

(WSVN) - The crew of a Princess Cruises ship made a remarkable rescue after a small plane plunged into the Caribbean Sea.

The private plane went down about 23 miles southeast of Grand Turk Island in the Turks and Caicos Islands, Tuesday afternoon.

The Federal Aviation Administration contacted the U.S. Coast Guard after the crash, which then sent a cutter and crew from Puerto Rico and an aircraft from Miami.

The Coast Guard spotted the two people in the water, while the Regal Princess crew worked to pull them out.

Princess Cruises posted a picture on social media of the plane’s two passengers in a life raft.

Passengers on board the 19-deck cruise ship could be heard applauding in videos of the rescue.

Cruise passenger Brandon Cobos of Chattanooga, Tenn., told 7News that he thought the situation would be different after the captain announced that someone had gone overboard.

“I was like, ‘Oh, my gosh. Someone jumped off.’ It’s the kind of thing you see on social media or hear about, and then a few minutes later at the end of it, the announcement was that it was an aircraft we were going to rescue. I was like, ‘Oh, that’s still crazy,'” said Cobos.

The rescue slightly detoured the cruise ship from its route to St. Thomas, but passengers on board the cruise ship who watched the drama unfold said it was worth it.

“I just think everybody really worked well through the situation,” said Cobos.

7News spoke with the wife of one of the men rescued from the plane. She said she is grateful that everything worked out and now hopes to get her husband home as quickly as possible.

Following the rescue, Princess Cruises released the following statement, “Princess Cruises can confirm that upon request from the U.S. Coast Guard, Regal Princess assisted in the rescue of two U.S. citizens, whose private aircraft went down southeast of Grand Turk in the Caribbean Sea.”

The Regal Princess is on day three of a seven-day cruise and is due back at Port Everglades on Sunday.

The ship arrived in St. Thomas on Wednesday morning.

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