Relative of plane crash victims says ‘thank God they were okay’

All smiles after the five people - including eight-month-old Andrew Gibson - were rescued safely after the plane they were on board ditched in waters off New Providence on Monday. 
Photos: Marine Seaman Collison Ingraham/RBDF

All smiles after the five people - including eight-month-old Andrew Gibson - were rescued safely after the plane they were on board ditched in waters off New Providence on Monday. Photos: Marine Seaman Collison Ingraham/RBDF


Tribune Staff Reporter


THE FIVE people who were on board a plane that crashed in waters off New Providence on Monday night have all been released from hospital and are said to be in “good condition”.

Cousins Anthiqueko Gibson, 26,  Lorenzo Moss, 47, Autoria Moss, 27, Andre Gibson, 22, and eight-month-old Andrew Gibson, were on a single engine Cessna 172 aircraft flying from Pittstown, Crooked Island, when the plane crashed into the sea 13 miles southeast of Nassau.

A relative of the passengers, who did not want to be named, told The Tribune that when she heard of the crash her heart sank. “My mind went crazy, no one survives that kind of thing, That is what I kept saying,” the relative said.

“Then my mind went on the baby. He must have been terrified, especially since his mother was not with him. They were in the water for so long. We got together as a family and prayed and prayed and our prayers were answered. We got a call that they were saved. We just have to thank God they were okay. Only God got them through it.”

The pilot reported engine problems before the plane ditched in the sea, Transport and Aviation Minister Glenys Hanna Martin told the House of Assembly, as parliamentarians debated the 2015/2016 budget. The registration of the plane is N51AZ.

According to Royal Bahamas Defence Force officials, Air Traffic Control at Lynden Pindling International Airport reported a light aircraft crashing in waters south of New Providence shortly before sunset. 

The RPDF deployed a Fast Patrol craft P-128 with coxswain Petty Officer Peter Thompson to the area and was supported by an Operation Bahamas Turks and Caicos (OPBAT) helicopter. 

After more than two hours of searching, a life raft was sighted by the helicopter crew and the five passengers were rescued by Marines aboard the Defence Force vessel and taken to Coral Harbour Base, where an ambulance was standing by to provide medical attention.

All passengers appeared to be in good health. The survivors also have family who are members of the Defence Force.


prayingforpeace 8 years, 3 months ago

This is one of the best news I've heard in a while... Thank you God for grace, mercy and favour.


banker 8 years, 3 months ago

Interesting side note here that nobody picked up. The plane with tail number N51AZ is registered to a Delaware company called Prestigious Aircraft. The address is the home of multiple Delaware companies from a Cosmetics/Nails business to various investment companies designed to hide beneficial owners. So I looked up the company owning the plane in the Delaware registry of companies, and THE COMPANY IS NOT IN GOOD STANDING. This brings up all sort of questions. The FAA registry must be kept up to date, and it has not been. The company is probably no longer a company. Did the plane have proper insurance? How did it end up in the Bahamas if its beneficial owner is a non-compliant Delaware company, and why were the passengers all Bahamian? Was it a rogue charter company that Randy Butler talked about? Someone leasing a plane and not getting permits and licences to operate a charter? Inquiring minds want to know.

There is a lot more going on here than meets the eye. Deserves an investigation.

Click on pic to enlarge the Delaware company registry.

http://tribune242.com/users/photos/20...">http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin..." alt="Aircraft owning company not in good standing. All sorts of violations of rules here.">

http://thetribune.media.clients.ellin...">Aircraft owning company not in good standing. All sorts of violations of rules here. by banker


DillyTree 8 years, 3 months ago

Banker, I noticed that too, but did you also see that this plane was previously registered in the Bahamas as a private aircraft -- though sold some 11 years ago to the current owner. That explains why it is in the Bahamas, but I am also wondering if this wasn't a "rogue charter", as if you look at previous flight plans filed by this aircraft, the routes are seemingly random and not a consistent route that you might expect a non-charter outfit to take.

I do hope the BCAA takes note of this and really clamps down on the illegal charters. Way too many tourists are getting suckered in by accepting the lower rates offered by the rogue charters (who aren't paying maintenance, re-certifications, or insurance), instead of taking the properly registered charter companies who have taken the time and expense of operating legally.

There was some talk that this aircraft ran out of fuel -- which, I suppose is "engine trouble", but all the same, I'm glad everyone survived the ditching.


banker 8 years, 3 months ago

You're right. All sorts of planes for hire (including one by a conchy joe architect) with no questions asked, no worries on the persons or just cargo flying, and cheap flights. Authorities need to question the pilot, call the insurance company and the FAA, get the BCAA out and ask the passengers on how they came to be aboard. The RBDF could take a lead here as well, since they did the rescue.

Something smells to high heaven here. The plane could have been "sold" as a matter of convenience and you can escape inspections etc by being caught betwixt and between two jurisdictions and fall through the cracks. This definitely doesn't pass the smell test!


banker 8 years, 3 months ago

Looking for an investigative reporter on the Tribune or other newspaper to chase this story down!!!!!!!!!!! There is some sort of meat here!


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