NEAR MARATHON (CBSMiami) – Three men on board a small plane that made an emergency landing in a marshy area near Marathon have quite a tale to tell after being rescued by the Monroe County Trauma Star helicopter which just happened to be in the right place at the right time.
The plane went down Friday around 10:30 a.m. just off U.S. 1 on the 18 mile stretch near MM 119.
The plane, reported to be a Cirrus SR22 single engine plane registered to a Weston address, suffered engine trouble so the pilot brought the plane down in shallow water.
The Monroe County Trauma Star helicopter, having just finished dropping a patient off in Miami, was headed back to its home base in Marathon when the pilot heard about the emergency landing.
The pilot, Sheriff’s Aviation Division Director Brooks Bateman decided to locate the downed aircraft. Trauma Star found the plane; it was upright lost its landing gear in the swampy marsh. One of the three men on board was standing on a wing signaling to the helicopter.
The helicopter pilot landed on a muddy, but solid spot about 50 yards from the plane.
Bateman and firefighter Curtis Teems waded through the water to the aircraft to check out the three men who suffered only minor scrapes and abrasions.
They brought all three men back to the helicopter and lifted them back to the highway where they were met by rescue workers from Key Largo, Monroe County and Miami-Dade County.
The names of the three men onboard the plane have not been released.