Pilot rescued by shrimp boat after crashing in Great Salt Lake

ST. GEORGE – A plane flying over the Great Salt Lake became water-bound Thursday when the pilot was forced to make a wet landing.

Around 12:45 p.m. the pilot of a single-engine plane was forced to make a controlled landing into the salty inland sea due to mechanical failure, according to a press release from Utah State Parks and Recreation.

Mechanical failure forced the pilot of a single-engine plane to land in the waters of the Great Salt Lake. The pilot was able to radio for before the watery landing occurred and was soonafter rescued by a the crew of a shrimp boat that recieved the distress call, Great Salt Lake, Utah, Oct. 13, 2016 | Photo courtues of Utah State Parks and Recreation, St. George News
Mechanical failure forced the pilot of a single-engine plane to land in the waters of the Great Salt Lake. The pilot was able to radio for help before the watery landing occurred and was soon after rescued by the crew of a shrimp boat that received the distress call, Great Salt Lake, Utah, Oct. 13, 2016 | Photo courtesy of Utah State Parks and Recreation, St. George News

The water-logged landing occurred near Stansbury Island.

According to Fox 13 News, the 40-year-old pilot from Bountiful, who was flying from Salt Lake City to Knolls, was able to radio out his intent to drop the plane in the water before taking an impromptu swim.

Typically, a plane that crash-lands in a body of water would have sunk, said Sgt. Drew Patterson with Utah State Parks. However, due to the lake’s high salt content, it kept the plane afloat, which worked to the pilot’s advantage.

“He basically climbed on top of the aircraft and sat there for about 20 minutes waiting for somebody to come out and get him,” Patterson said, as reported by Fox 13 News.

A shrimp boat on the lake picked up the pilot’s radio call and soon retrieved him. The pilot was the sole occupant of the plane when it went down.

The man was then delivered to rangers with Utah State Parks and taken to shore.

“The pilot was shaken up and cold from the water, but claimed to be unharmed and refused medical treatment,” Utah State Parks said in the press release.

Hypothermia was nonetheless an initial concern due to exposure to the chilled waters.

“With the temperature of the water, definitely hypothermia could have been a major factor had he stood out there for a long period of time,” Patterson told Fox 13 News.

“Utah State Parks and Recreation would like to thank the brine shrimp workers for their assistance and quick thinking in this incident,” Utah State Parks officials said in Thursday’s press release.

Ed. Note: The dateline of “ST. GEORGE” notes the location from where the article was written and not necessarily where the incident occurred.

Click on photo to enlarge it, then use your left-right arrow keys to cycle through the gallery.

Email: mkessler@stgnews.com

Twitter: @MoriKessler

Copyright St. George News, SaintGeorgeUtah.com LLC, 2016, all rights reserved.

 

Free News Delivery by Email

Would you like to have the day's news stories delivered right to your inbox every evening? Enter your email below to start!

Posted in Local, NewsTagged , , , ,

1 Comment

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.