In the morning of Tuesday 3 April, the two pilots of a crashed aircraft were rescued by the on-board Lynx helicopter of the guard ship HNLMS Amsterdam. The aircraft in question, a twin-engine Beechcraft, had made an emergency landing in the sea about 20 miles north-east of Aruba. The navy vessel had been alerted by the Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard.
Shortly after the crash, the pilots were picked up and brought to safety by the Lynx. The helicopter hoisted them from their life raft and flew them to the navy vessel, where they were medically examined. The men are in reasonable condition and were dropped off on Aruba. The Beechcraft sank some time afterwards. The two pilots were the only persons on board the aircraft.
Air Traffic Control of Curaçao initially alerted the Rescue and Coordination Centre (RCC) of the Coast Guard. The RCC then deployed all instantly available coastguard units, among them the guard ship HNLNS Amsterdam, which is currently patrolling the waters of the region.
The Dutch Caribbean Coast Guard is responsible for Search-and-Rescue activities in the waters surrounding the Caribbean islands of the Kingdom of the Netherlands. It is also in charge of the coordination of Search-and-Rescue in large parts of the Caribbean region.
Naval Today Staff , April 05, 2012; Image: defensie