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Photo plane crashes into Gulf waters near Keys

A single-engine aircraft lies on the bottom in the Gulf of Mexico off the Seven Mile Bridge. Two people survived the crash that occurred during a Saturday flight to photograph Florida Keys hurricane damage. FWC photo.
A single-engine aircraft lies on the bottom in the Gulf of Mexico off the Seven Mile Bridge. Two people survived the crash that occurred during a Saturday flight to photograph Florida Keys hurricane damage. FWC photo.

Two people aboard a small airplane that crashed into the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday survived by clinging to trap buoys, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission reports.

The single-engine aircraft was on a flight to photograph Florida Keys damage from Hurricane Irma. The plane splashed into gulf waters, about four miles north of the west end of the Seven Mile Bridge, at 9:30 a.m.

“The aircraft was completely submerged,” according to the FWC. “The pilot and the passenger were able to leave the aircraft and hold onto two commercial trap buoys for flotation.”|

The pilot called 911 for rescue. FWC patrol boats from Marathon and Bahia Honda responded to coordinates relayed by the pilot. A U.S. Coast Guard boat from the Coast Guard’s Marathon station also went to the rescue.

“Both the pilot and the passenger were pulled from the water in good condition,” the FWC says. No identification information was available at deadline.

FWC investigators will file an incident report with the Federal Aviation Administration.

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