Authorities rescued an Orlando pilot whose plane crashed due to engine failure in the waters off the Florida Keys on Sunday, according to WPLG.
RESCUE AT SEA: Adam Barney said he had about 60 seconds to make a decision Sunday morning as his plane’s engines went out over the Gulf of Mexico off the lower Florida Keys. A deputy would soon come to his rescue after he crashed. https://t.co/YsDaHrB8qg
— WPLG Local 10 News (@WPLGLocal10) August 15, 2023
Barney had to fend for his life in the water about three miles off Sawyer Key, making himself more visible to rescuers by waving his orange life jacket around.
“I was not scared up until the point I was floating in the water and the plane had disappeared below me. That’s when I started to freak out a little,” Barney recalled.
Barney expressed his gratitude to Pike, acknowledging the deputy’s professionalism and exceptional efforts in saving his life.
“Deputy Pike was amazing, professional, he did a great job, was in a great mood, had a good attitude. That man saved my life,” Barney said, adding that this was the “craziest experience of my life.” (RELATED: Small Plane Crashes Into Ocean Near Crowded Beach As Lifeguards Pull It To Shore)
Barney, who was flying from Orlando to Key West to pick up a friend, emerged from the ordeal without life-threatening injuries, according to USA Today. But the Aero Commander 500 aircraft he was flying sank, U.S. Coast Guard spokesman Eric Rodriguez confirmed to the outlet.
Barney holds a private pilot license granted in 2019 by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). The crash is under investigation by aviation authorities, USA Today reported.