Two men have been rescued and airlifted to safety after a light aircraft crashed into the ocean near the Barwon Banks reef off Maroochydore on the Sunshine Coast. The incident occurred on Friday morning, prompting a swift response from emergency services. Queensland Ambulance paramedics, along with helicopters from the government-owned rescue chopper and the RACQ LifeFlight, rushed to the scene.
The two men, believed to be in their 50s, were spotted clinging to a life raft near the crash site and were successfully rescued less than an hour later. They have been now transported to Sunshine Coast University Hospital for further assessment, where they are reported to be in a stable condition.
Remarkably, both men have escaped the incident without any injuries, and they are expected to be discharged from the hospital on Friday afternoon, according to the Courier Mail. However, it remains unclear if there were any other occupants on board the plane at the time of the crash.
Authorities were alerted to the situation when a light aircraft started experiencing difficulties shortly after 9am. Queensland Police also confirmed their attendance at the scene, along with officers from the Sunshine Coast water patrol. The crashed plane is believed to be a Cessna aircraft that was en route to Pago Pago, the capital of American Samoa.
Flight tracking data revealed that the aircraft turned around due to the reported difficulties and crashed approximately 90 minutes after departure from the Sunshine Coast. The precise location of the crash is reported to be near Barwon Banks, approximately 22 nautical miles offshore.
Investigations into the cause of the crash are currently underway. More details about the incident, including any potential contributing factors or additional occupants on the aircraft, are expected to surface as the investigation progresses.