This is the thrilling moment when a team of heroic lifeboat volunteers raced through perilous waters to rescue two guys whose plane had crashed into the ocean.
The Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six of former RAF Tornado pilot Duncan Laisney and Paul Clifford went down in the English Channel near Jersey last week, prompting the dispatch of three RNLI teams.
Now, film of the rescue has been published, depicting the crew’s discovery of the pair gathered for warmth on their orange life raft.
The footage begins with a RIB lifeboat rushing through stormy waters, with water spraying over two rescue workers.
On Thursday, RNLI volunteers are shown racing through turbulent waves to rescue two men whose jet crashed off the coast of Jersey.
Dramatic RNLI film depicts the moment personnel located the two guys drifting on a rescue raft.
Former RAF Tornado pilot Duncan Laisney and Paul Clifford (shown on the left) had been adrift for an hour before being rescued.
After the single-engine jet lost power and was forced to ditch in the ocean, rescue teams were activated.
Duncan and Paul were able to don their life jackets and board the life raft within seconds before their plane sank beneath the waters.
The men were seen by vigilant RNLI volunteers, who can be seen approaching the ‘calm’ pair as they floated in the English Channel.
A series of photographs captures the moment the two were taken from their raft and into the RNLI vessel before returning to dry land.
A dolphin was also captured leaping from the sea at the conclusion of the mission, surrounded by three rescue vessels that had battled force seven winds and three-meter-high waves to locate the downed pilots.
A representative for the RNLI stated, “See what it was like aboard the RNLI Jersey inshore lifeboats when they launched to assist the two individuals who had to dump their plane in the water off the south-east coast of Jersey.”
The single-engine Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six, in which the two were traveling, lost power and crashed into the ocean. The moment an RNLI lifeboat volunteer reaches the trapped pair is seen in this image.
Thursday’s crash of a Piper has prompted the initiation of an investigation into its causes. This image is a stock photo.
‘Be careful not to blink, or you might miss the dolphin that appeared shortly after the casualties boarded.
Duncan and Paul, both veterans of Afghanistan, were forced to make an emergency landing in the ocean on Thursday.
Before the RNLI and Coastguard crews located them, the two floated in a dinghy for approximately an hour.
The emergency beacon gadget carried by Duncan and Paul transmitted their whereabouts to rescue personnel.
Once recovered, the pair was transported to St. Helier, cold but unharmed.
After being rescued, a relieved Duncan told ITV News, ‘Of course, I’m thrilled to be back.’
There was a terrific sense of relief, and the RNLI did an incredibly professional job of rapidly rescuing us.
He stated that the hour they were stranded on the dingy at sea “felt like an eternity” and that he was “indebted” to the RNLI team that rescued him and his friend.
Mr. Clifford continued, ‘It was a bit unsettling, but we were fine. We knew someone would come to collect us, so we were alright.
Both men were located thanks to a personal locator beacon that assisted rescue teams in locating them at sea. Pictured is the RNLI team’s arrival at the life raft.
Former RAF Tornado pilot Duncan Laisney, pictured, was relieved to be rescued by emergency personnel.
James Hope, a member of the RNLI crew participating in the rescue mission, remarked, “To really locate somebody in the middle of the ocean, in a life raft in the middle of the ocean, is an incredible experience.” It’s the reason we do what we do.
Phil Le Neveu, the Ports of Jersey Marine Quality Manager, directed the search mission.
Jersey Coastguard dispatched all three RNLI lifeboats, the Ports of Jersey work boat Rival, Channel Island Air Search, and the French helicopter Dragon 50.
Jersey Coastguard added in a statement, ‘Thanks to the swift response of the crews of all the assets, the use of drift modelling software, and the homing signal from the personal locator beacon, the life raft was quickly discovered.
The St. Helier all-weather lifeboat delivered both of the casualties to St. Helier safe and sound.
Your altruistic response today has undoubtedly saved two lives.
There will be an investigation to determine what caused the plane to lose power and crash.