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Aircrew rescued after light plane crashes into water off Australian coast

SYDNEY (XINHUA) – Two occupants were rescued in the Australian state of Queensland after a light plane crashed into the water off the Sunshine Coast yesterday.

The Australian Maritime Safety Authority confirmed in a statement that at approximately 8.30am local time, Airservices Australia alerted the authority to an aircraft in distress, 65 kilometres east of the Sunshine Coast in Queensland.

The plane was travelling from the Sunshine Coast to Norfolk Island, carrying two crew when it experienced engine failure.

According to the statement, the pilot broadcast an emergency alert and proceeded to undertake a controlled landing on the water. All passengers were reported to be safe with no serious injuries. Queensland Ambulance Service Intensive Care Flight Paramedic Michael O’Brien provided an update on the incident.

“As it happened, there was an aircraft nearby that was able to circle the aircraft that was ditching, and provide us with some accurate lat-longs for the exact location,” O’Brien told reporters.

He noted that when paramedics arrived, the two people onboard the plane – two men, aged 51 and 59 – had already managed to escape.

“They were located in a life raft, and that life raft was slowly being submerged in water,” he said. “We were able to lower down a rescue basket and extract both of those persons from the sea and into the aircraft.”