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Two Men Rescued After Small Plane Ditches

June 22, 1987

HONOLULU (AP) _ A Japanese fishing boat Monday rescued two men who had spent 15 hours floating in a life raft after ditching their small plane in the Pacific Ocean, the Coast Guard Rescue Center said.

The fishing boat Miyagi Maru picked up George Sigler, of Texas, the pilot, and Merrill Connell of Australia, the center said. The two men, whose home towns weren’t available, were reported in good condition.

The men, who were ferrying the twin-engine Cessna 310 from San Francisco to Pago Pago, American Samoa, left Keahole Airport in Kona, Hawaii, early Sunday after a refueling stop.

The pilot reported that he was ditching the plane after one of its engines failed, and the Coast Guard sent two C-130 rescue planes to locate them.

The men were spotted about 560 miles south of Honolulu Sunday, riding in their small life raft, and one of the rescue planes dropped a larger life raft and survival equipment for them.

The crew of the Miyagi Maru had been fishing about 37 miles from the site where the plane went down. The Coast Guard had diverted a German tanker from its Australia-bound course, but it was slowed by mechanical problems.

The Japanese vessel was enroute to Honolulu and was expected to arrive Wednesday, the Coast Guard said.

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