809/2022 Aircraft Ditching Off Jersey


The Service was tasked by Jersey Coastguard to launch immediately to an aircraft which had ditched SE of Seymour Tower off Jersey's SE corner. Its last known position was 49.06.404 N, 001.51.792 W and was described as being red and white in colour with two persons on board.

The Service's aircraft, N70AS, took off from Guernsey Airport at 1435hrs, 37 minutes after the crew were alerted. At 1439hrs, shortly after establishing radio contact with Jersey Coastguard, it was confirmed that the St Helier ILB had located the ditched aircraft's life raft with two persons on board, both of whom appeared to be safe and well. "Dragon 50", the Securite Civile helicopter from Granville, had been operating in the area but at this point was stood down by Jersey Coastguard and returned to its base, meaning there were no other airborne SAR assets involved which "Air Search 1B" would have to deconflict with. The life raft's position (49.07.75 N, 001.50.19 W) was noted and search instructions from Jersey Coastguard were awaited whilst "Air Search 1B" proceeded towards the scene. At 1442hrs the St Helier ILB confirmed the ditched aircraft had sunk, apparently intact. The two casualties were transferred to the St Helier ALB which then headed back to St Helier where an ambulance was requested to meet them on arrival.

At 1445hrs "Air Search 1B" was tasked to gather photos and video footage of the area and vessels operating and to conduct a general search of the area for any flotsam resulting from the ditching. At 1450hrs "Air Search 1B" arrived overhead the area. Several tracks were flown in the vicinity of the ditched aircraft's last known position and images were gathered of the RNLI and Ports of Jersey vessels returning to St Helier and St Catherine's. A stepladder search pattern was then established with N-S legs, moving in an easterly direction away from the ditched aircraft's last known position, allowing for the surface wind and tide. A possible sighting of debris was made, causing "Air Search 1B" to break off from the search pattern but this was found to be a pot bobber. Visibility was good and no flotsam or signs of fuel or oil on the surface were identified. This was communicated to Jersey Coastguard who stood down "Air Search 1B" at 1537hrs.

The Service's aircraft returned to Guernsey Airport, landing at 1605hrs, where it was refuelled and made ready for its next service.

Tags: Launch reports, Jersey