BASSETERRE, St. Kitts – AN Anguillan pilot and five passengers who were earlier today (Oct. 13) involved in a plane crash and reported missing were found alive.
According to the St. Maarten News Network’s website the plane’s captain, Kirby Hodge, and passengers were found alive by rescue workers in St. Croix.
Sources close to Hodge’s family in Anguilla suggest that the five passengers were found drifting in a raft that was prepared for them by Hodge while he swam to a nearby key.
Reports circulated that Captain Hodge, who owns Rainbow International Airlines, and his passengers may have disappeared after taking off from St. Croix sometime after 6:00 a.m.
Hodge is a popular Anguillan pilot and well known entrepreneur, who is responsible for air evacuation within the region and delivering newspapers to the island of St. Croix from St. Thomas, was returning back to St. Thomas from St. Croix after picking up several passengers.
This morning, Air Towers in San Juan Puerto Rico contacted St. Maarten and Martinique to inquire if the flight manned by Captain Hodge had landed at any of the two airports.
Shortly after rescue workers were dispatched in search of the aircraft.
It was later understood that the wreckage of the aircraft was found but none of the passengers were located.
Many family members and friends who prayed for Hodge and his passengers’ safe return rejoiced at the good news that they were all alive.
This is the second plane to have crashed in the region over a seven-day period.
On Monday (Oct. 8), Montserrat was in mourning following a crash of the national airline in Antigua late Sunday afternoon.
Reports stated that shortly after 4:00 p.m. October 7, a British Norman Islander nine-seat aircraft operated by Fly Montserrat had crashed shortly after takeoff from the V.C. Bird International Airport.
There were three passengers on board along with the pilot, Jason Forbes, who was pronounced dead on the scene. A woman, later identified as Annya Duncan, a Jamaican national and teacher at the Montserrat Secondary School also died in the aircraft. A 57-year old Guyanese woman was the other victim.
The woman was said to have died shortly after arriving at the Mount Saint John Medical Centre and the sole survivor is a British national, who is said to have sustained bruises, lacerations and a broken ankle and that none of his injuries were life threatening, according to official reports.
Fly Montserrat also resumed its regular scheduled service on Monday among Antigua, Montserrat and Nevis.