No Injuries In Westwind Ditching

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The crew, a medical team, the patient and the patient's spouse aboard a medical evacuation flight from Samoa to Australia were uninjured after the Pel-Air Westwind jet ditched in the open ocean in weather that prompted the pilot to ditch rather than trying for the airport at Norfolk Island. In a news release Pel-Air Chairman John Sharp said weather deteriorated as the aircraft commander, Capt. Dominic James, made several tries to get on the pavement for a scheduled fuel stop at Norfolk. As his fuel dwindled he made the hard decision and it worked out. "They performed an intricate landing on water in darkness resulting in the evacuation of everyone safely and quickly," he said.

A boat was on the scene quickly and while everyone aboard was taken to Norfolk Island hospital to be checked, they were all unhurt. The medical team resumed care of the patient in the hospital and arrangements are being made to get the patient back to Australia.