Kayakers help rescue pilot after small plane crashes near Anne Arundel County’s Lee Airport
A small plane has crashed into Beards Creek in Anne Arundel County, officials say.
The pilot and sole occupant has been identified as Steve Couchman, 71, of Frederick, Maryland. He was transported by ambulance to Anne Arundel Medical Center, where he is receiving medical treatment for injuries sustained in the crash.
The plane involved is a Piper Cherokee single-engine plane.
Shortly before 10:30 a.m. this morning, Maryland State Police from the Glen Burnie and Annapolis Barracks were dispatched to the report of a plane crash near Lee Airport in Edgewater, Maryland.
The preliminary investigation indicates that moments after the pilot took off from Lee Airport, the engine of his plane began sputtering. Witnesses told police they heard the sputter and shortly thereafter, they heard the plane crash into Beards Creek.
Two nearby civilians and an on-duty police officer from the Anne Arundel County Police Department who heard the call used three kayaks to skim across the iced creek to provide assistance to the pilot.
While the plane was sinking, the pilot exited his plane and stood on the wing. Once the kayakers were close enough, the pilot was able to hang on to one of them to stay afloat.
Moments later, officers from the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police responded to the scene by boat. Upon their arrival, an officer cut through the ice and pulled the pilot safely into the boat and transported him to the Annapolis Landing Marina nearby, where the pilot was subsequently transported by ambulance to the hospital.
Maryland State Police from the Annapolis and Glen Burnie Barracks remain on the scene. None of the kayakers were injured during the rescue operation. The investigation continues.