Plane plummets in Nanoose Bay

Two men escape injury when their light plane ditches in the water

Two men escaped uninjured after engine trouble forced an emergency water landing in the Nanoose Bay area Sunday morning.

The mayday call came in at 8:45 a.m. Sunday, just 10 minutes after the plane had left Nanaimo airport, said Jeff Olsson, maritime coordinator with Victoria’s Joint Rescue Co-ordination Centre.

The two people were flying in a home-built, ultra-light aircraft that was having some sort of engine trouble, Olsson said.

They put the plane down in the water about four kilometres northeast of the entrance to Nanoose Bay harbour.

“It sounds like they just skimmed along the surface of the water and then bailed out,” said Olsson. “The plane sank out beneath them fairly quickly.”

A Coast Guard crew from French Creek picked the men up, uninjured but a little cold, after they were in the water about 25 minutes, he said. At least two pleasure craft also assisted in the rescue.

They were taken back to Schooner Cove Marina in Nanoose Bay, where marina staff gave them dry clothing and coffee before shuttling them back to the airport.

Dockhand Bob Baker said at least one man lived in Nanaimo and while neither was hurt, they were shaken up from the crash.

 

The men were headed for Gilles Bay on Texada Island for an annual fly-in event.