Video-US Coast Guard rescata pilotos cessna

  • 21 September 2012
  • aser


A California man and his son are lucky to be alive after their single-engine plane lost power and plunged into the ocean so hard that its doors broke off the hinges.

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

cessna floats

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

The two men were returning from an annual salmon fishing trip in Canada, when their 20-year-old Cessna 185 Skywagon started to experience problems.

'We flew it for two hours without a problem, but then there was a loss of power,' said Stanford Shaw.

'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.

Fortunately the Shaws were unharmed and so they sat in their floating plane for nearly two hours with a California Highway Patrol Cessna circling overhead before an Alameda-based Coast Guard helicopter could arrive to hoist them to safety.

'When the helicopter got there, the left wing went into the water,' said the younger Shaw, who was hoisted into the helicopter after his father.

A Coast Guard helicopter managed to save Stanley and Stanford Shaw just as their Cessna sank

A Coast Guard helicopter managed to save Stanley and Stanford Shaw just as their Cessna sank

'The water was hitting my back. I was standing on a pontoon when the helicopter hoisted me up and the airplane sank,' Stanford Shaw said. 'I didn't even get my hair wet.'

The plane is in less than 100 feet of water, and the Shaws will have to raise it because it's in a marine sanctuary.

'The most hair-raising part was landing in the big swells,' the younger Shaw added. 'You were right there with the big elephant seals and great white sharks, although I didn't see any sharks.'


The Shaws were taken to Paso Robles Municipal Airport, where they rented a car for the drive to their home in Santa Barbara.

But they had to make a quick stop on the way.

'We went to Walmart and got him (his dad) dry clothes,' Stanford Shaw said.

'We're just thanking our lucky stars.'



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