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Pilot of plane that crashed into frozen Maryland creek saved by kayakers

A small plane crashed into Beards Creek, located in Edgewater, Md., shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday. Photo courtesy of Anne Arundel County Fire Department/<a href="https://twitter.com/AACoFD/status/1607415490544275457?s=20&amp;t=5W56CO-j7q9j09V6TLGv8g">Twitter</a>
A small plane crashed into Beards Creek, located in Edgewater, Md., shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday. Photo courtesy of Anne Arundel County Fire Department/Twitter

Dec. 27 (UPI) — A pilot who was left stranded upon the wing of his sinking plane after it crashed into a Maryland creek was rescued by witnesses who used kayaks to cross the frozen water, authorities said.

Maryland State Police said in a statement that the plane crashed into Beards Creek, located in Edgewater, Md., which is about 35 miles south of Baltimore, shortly before 10:30 a.m. Monday.

Two nearby civilians who witnessed the crash used kayaks to traverse the frozen creek to reach the pilot, who had been able to exit the the Piper Cherokee single-engine aircraft and was standing on its wing.

“Once the kayakers were close enough, the pilot was able to hang on to one of them to stay afloat,” state police said.

Officers with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources Police then used a boat to cut through the ice to reach the pilot, who was then pulled to safety.

The pilot, identified as 71-year-old Steve Coachman, was brought to shore where he was then transported by ambulance to the Anne Arundel Medical Center for treatment for non-life-threatening injuries sustained in the crash.

Anne Arundel County Fire Department Lt. Jennifer Macallair described the actions by the two witnesses as “heroic.”

“Miraculously and heroically, the two kayakers were the ones who were able to get to the pilot very quickly and pull him up on the kayak enough out of that water until DNR could get there and pull them to shore,” she said during a press conference.

“Hypothermia can set in within minutes, so the fact that these two individuals were able to recognize what happened and got into their kayaks and went out there absolutely probably saved his life.”

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