3 men rescued after small plane crashes off coast of Bimini

Cessna 337 crashes about 27 miles east of Bimini

DANIA BEACH, Fla. – Three men were rescued after their small plane crashed into the water about 27 miles east of Bimini.

The U.S. Coast Guard said the men took off from Great Harbour Cay in a Cessna 337 Monday morning that was headed to Opa-locka. They were rescued by good Samaritans on board a cargo ship.

The ship carrying the passengers and pilot is arrived in Dania Beach around 2:45 p.m. Monday. The CEO of Seacor Island Lines, which owns the cargo ship, says eight crew members were on board when they spotted the plane go down about four miles away from them.

Local 10's Andrew Perez spoke with the three victims. Ernie Martin, who is a 15-year-veteran pilot from Miami said he was heading back to South Florida from vacationing in Great Harbour Cay with his two friends, Javier Avino and Daniel Puig.

According to Martin, one of the engines failed so he decided to divert to Bimini. Soon after, the second engine on the plane failed. Martin says he spotted the ship nearby so he decided to make a soft landing a couple of miles from it.

Miraculously, all three of the men on board the plane survived and are doing well.

About the Authors:

Amanda Batchelor is the Digital Executive Producer for Local10.com.

Andrew Perez is a South Florida native who joined the Local 10 News team in May 2014.