Men in Orford Ness aircraft plunge 'incredibly lucky'

Two people who survived a crash landing in a light aircraft in the North Sea off the Suffolk coast were "incredibly lucky", the coastguard said.

Pilot Gary Collings, 49, from Ditchingham, in Norfolk, and his passenger Mark Andrews, 34, from Northampton, were rescued on Wednesday.

The plane was on its way from Germany to Norfolk when it suffered engine failure at about 1820 BST.

Both men were taken to Ipswich Hospital and discharged later that evening.

'Swift conclusion'

It is believed the engine cut out, forcing the pilot to aim for the sea, three miles from the Orford Ness lighthouse.

The men were winched to safety by a rescue helicopter, aided by three lifeboats despatched from Harwich and Aldeburgh.

Thames Coastguard watch manager Karen Paradise said: "The two people in the light aircraft are incredibly fortunate.

"As the result of the skills of the rescue helicopter crew this incident was brought to a swift and successful conclusion."

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