FREEPORT — A family of three and an unidentified male passenger survived a plane crash yesterday after the pilot was forced to ditch the small plane in mangroves to the east of Freeport Aggregates, just off Grand Bahama Highway.
The 45-year-old pilot, Raymond Meadows Sr., his wife, their 10-year-old and the male passenger had reportedly just taken off from the Grand Bahama Airport en route to Eleuthera when the twin engine Piper Aztec aircraft they were in encountered mechanical problems.
Meadows, the owner and operator of Flamingo Air, made the decision to crash land the plane in the mangroves, according to police reports.
Police received the call about the crash around 1:35 p.m. and emergency rescue teams, including the Fire Department, ambulance personnel and the Royal Bahamas Defence Force were called in to lend assistance.
When news crews arrived at the Freeport Aggregates site, they were denied access and kept at bay.
The pilot’s wife and daughter were assisted from the crash site first via a canoe and transported to land just after 4 p.m., where they walked over to a waiting ambulance unassisted and were taken to the hospital for observation.
The entire ordeal proved a tedious process for rescue officials and the crash victims as they raced against the tide. As the canoe had limited space, retrieving the passengers proved time consuming.
Around 7 p.m., Meadows and his male passenger were safely brought on to land and were also transported to the hospital.
All four reportedly had no visible signs of injury.
Meadows was reportedly on his way to Eleuthera just hours after learning of the passing of his father there.
The matter is under investigation. (Nassau Guardian)