Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 31 August 2014

Channel plane crash: Search resumes

HMS Tyne is helping in the search for a missing person following a light aircraft crash in the English Channel

The search for a missing person following a light aircraft crash in the English Channel is resuming.

Two people were on board the plane, which came down off the coast of Guernsey on Saturday.

One woman was later taken to hospital in France after a massive rescue operation, but rescuers will continue to look for the second person - believed to be her husband.

The search stopped at midnight and will resume at 7am, a spokesman for the Maritime Rescue Co-ordination Centre in Jobourg, France, said.

Colin La Ray, director of Guernsey Airport, said two people were on board the aircraft which came down 25 miles off the coast of the Channel Isle.

He said: "Shortly before 3.50pm a single-engined private aircraft with two persons on board ditched into the sea - 25 miles north-west of the coast of Guernsey. Emergency crews called to the scene included the Channel Islands Search and Rescue Helicopter. The aircraft was based in Alderney, and was en route from the south coast of the UK."

Mr La Ray said that as the plane had come down in international waters, French coastguards were co-ordinating the search and rescue efforts.

The woman from the plane was found on a liferaft by a Russian merchant ship, the Jork Rider, which responded to a mayday call, Guernsey Coastguard said. She was airlifted to Cherbourg hospital, in France, while the search continued the for other person.

A river class offshore patrol vessel for the Royal Navy joined in the search because of its night vision capabilities. A Ministry of Defence spokesman said: "HMS Tyne has been diverted from duties in UK waters to assist with the French-led operation to search for the light aircraft."

Also taking part were lifeboats from Alderney and Normandy - with a large tug boat named the Abeille Liberte also deployed.

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