HONOLULU — A Navy plane flying in rain overran a runway Monday at a military base in Hawaii and splashed into Kaneohe Bay, but all nine aboard were unharmed, authorities said.
The Coast Guard responded, but rescue efforts were quickly called off, said Petty Officer Ryan Fisher, a Coast Guard spokesman. “It sounds like all parties involved were saved,” he said.
Marine Corps spokesman Gunnery Sgt. Orlando Perez had no information about what caused the P-8A to go off the runway at Marine Corps Base Hawaii.
A photo taken by witness Diane Dircks showed the plane in water just off the coast, a sight reminiscent of the “Miracle on the Hudson” in 2009, when an airliner piloted by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger made an emergency landing on the New York River. All 155 people on board survived.
The P-8A and the Airbus A320 that Sullenberger piloted are roughly the same size.
Dircks and her family had just returned to the dock after rain interrupted their pontoon boat trip when her daughter noticed the plane in the water.
“We ran to the end of the dock and I took some pictures,” she said.
Dircks, who is visiting from Illinois, said her daughter keeps a pair of binoculars on her to watch birds so she could see the plane and rescue boats arrive.
“It was unbelievable,” she said.
The Honolulu Fire Department received a 911 call of a downed plane shortly after 1 p.m. 2 p.m., spokesman Malcolm K. Medrano said in an email. It was cloudy and rainy at the time. Visibility was about a mile, said Thomas Vaughan, a National Weather Service meteorologist in Honolulu.
The P-8A is often used to hunt submarines and for reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. It is manufactured by Boeing and shares many parts with the 737 commercial jet.
The aircraft belongs to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron 4 stationed on Whidbey Island in Washington State. Patrol squadrons were once based at Kaneohe Bay, but are now deployed to Hawaii on a rotational basis.
Marine Corps Base Hawaii is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Honolulu on Oahu. The base houses about 9,300 military personnel and 5,100 family members. It is one of several important military installations on Oahu.
The base is located on Kaneohe Bay, which is home to coral reefs, a breeding ground for hammerhead sharks, and a marine biology research institute at the University of Hawaii.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Sinco Kelleher contributed to this report. Dupuy reported from New York.