A little after 12:30 p.m. on Monday, Captain Voight Hogge of the Virginia Institute of Marine Science’s research vessel “Bay Eagle,” observed a two-person Diamond DA20 aircraft make an emergency landing in the nearby waters of the Chesapeake Bay, about two miles south of Wolf Trap Light and offshore from New Point Comfort in about 25 feet of water.
The Bay Eagle was in the area as part of a just-completed series of comparison net tows with VIMS’s other large research vessel, the Virginia. The plane’s pilot purposefully landed the plane near the ship after experiencing engine trouble. Wave height in the area was less than one foot at the time of the incident.
Hogge immediately notified the below-decks crew, who included Dive Safety Officer Paul Richardson and researchers Jameson Gregg, Gregg Mears and Cameron Ward, while steering the Bay Eagle toward the downed aircraft, which had rapidly begun to sink. The crew members deployed life rings and Lifeslings to the pilot and passenge...
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