At 10h11 on Wednesday the 30th of March, NSRI Port Alfred duty crew were activated following reports of an aircraft accident on the Kowie River, approximately 15 kilometers up river.
A sea rescue craft was launched and on arrival on the scene a 20 year old pilot was found on the river bank and a single engine light aircraft was found submerged in the river.
The SA Police Services, Port Alfred Fire and Rescue Services and EC Government Health EMS were activated.
The student pilot, from 43 Air School, the only occupant of the aircraft, was not injured and he was treated only for shock by NSRI medics.
The pilot was brought to the sea rescue station in Port Alfred aboard the sea rescue craft and transported by Sea Rescue volunteers to a local doctor for further medical assessments but released requiring no medical treatment.
It appears that the student pilot, on a navigational training flight, made an emergency landing following suspected engine failure during circuits and landings at Port Alfred Airfield. iI is believed that a wing clipped a fence causing the aircraft to veer and ditch into the river.
SA National Park rangers and a Traffic Services officer were transported to the crash site by NSRI and the aircraft was later recovered from the water by authorities.
Attie Nieman, CEO of 43 Air School, in a statement, commended the student pilot for what appeared to be a textbook emergency landing in a very challenging area near to the Kowie River.
CAA (Civil Aviation Authority) are investigating.
TO REPORT A SEA RESCUE EMERGENCY DIAL 112 FROM A CELLPHONE