The U.S. Coast Guard made a dramatic rescue Sunday off the Central California coast, pulling a 77-year-old man and his adult son from a stalled, single-engine Cessna plane that had been forced to crash-land on water.
U.S. Coast Guard Pilot Chris Courtney, who was dispatched to the scene with his crew of three, told NBC Bay Area that the difference between life and death for the two men was a matter of minutes.
On arrival, Courtney's crew hoisted up the father and then went for his son.
"Just as we pulled him off the aircraft, it rolled over to left and sank,” Courtney said. “If we’d been there any later, it’s very possible that those two would have died last night,” Courtney said.
Courtney said he has been sent to one other down-aircraft situation in his 14 years of piloting – and that incident did not end well.
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