ACR ARTEX

The Science Of Survival

Coast Guard Rescues Father, Son From Sinking Plane

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NOTE: The following story appears courtesy of ABC News.

A single-engine amphibious plane that lost power off California’s central coast plunged into the ocean so hard, its doors broke off the hinges, one of the two men onboard said Monday.

The 77-year-old pilot and his adult son then sat in the aircraft in seas swelling with 8-foot waves and teeming with elephant seals for nearly two hours before a Coast Guard helicopter hoisted them to safety and their pontoon plane sank.

Stanley Shaw and son Stanford Shaw, 36, were flying at 1,500 feet over the ocean Sunday afternoon about five miles north of San Simeon when the aircraft lost power.

The Cessna 185 Skywagon pontoon plane, a six-seater the Shaws have owned for 20 years, was carrying the men from Camarillo Airport to British Columbia for an annual salmon fishing excursion in Canada.

“We flew it two hours without a problem, then there was a loss of power,” Stanford Shaw told The Associated Press from his Santa Barbara home.

“It was pretty big seas,” he said. “We hit three times. It broke the doors off the hinges. We hit the first time and bounced way up in the air. We hit again and on the third one, we hit like a belly flop.”

The plane’s beacon alerted rescuers to the aircraft’s whereabouts a mile offshore.

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