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'Wicked Tuna' spotter plane lands safely in ocean
CNHI News Service
GLOUCESTER, Mass. - A small plane spotting tuna for the fishing boat featured in the TV adventure show "Wicked Tuna" lost power off the Massachusetts coast and made a safe emergency belly-flop landing in the Atlantic. The pilot escaped the unscathed and stayed completely dry.
Coast Guard officials said the pilot, who was not identified, radioed the tuna boat Christina last Friday afternoon that he was going to ditch the plane and to call for help.
He then proceeded to belly land the single-engine plane on the ocean surface, bounching three times while inflating a life raft.
Officials said once the plane came to a stop, the pilot stepped out into the raft and floated near the plane for 45 minutes until a Coast Guard rescue boat arrived from 12 miles away.
"He wasn't even wet," said Coast Guardsman Jeff Quinn.
The red plane sank shortly after the Coast Guard arrived.
The Christina is captained out of Gloucester, Mass., by Kevin Leonewort of "Wicked Tuna" fame on the Discovery Channel. The 35-foot boat was heading back to port when the distress signal came from the spotter plane.
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