A pilot whose aircraft went down in the Atlantic Ocean about 15 miles off the Florida coast was rescued Thursday after rescuers used a tracking device to locate him.
Along with the Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, the Coast Guard deployed an MH-65 Dolphin helicopter Crew, the Coast Guard Cutter Finback, a 45-foot response boat crew, and a 33-foot special purpose law enforcement crew to follow the signal from the tracking device.
The signal led the search teams about 15 miles east of Juno Beach, where they found 51-year-old Robert Lillard floating on a raft. He had been the only person on the plane.
The Coast Guard said Lillard had no reported injuries.
“This type of incident reiterates the importance of having a registered PLB to guarantee personal safety during air or sea transport,” Sean Connect, command duty officer for the Coast Guard’s 7th District, said in a statement. “Thanks to the PLB, Lillard was rescued, which prevented a bad situation from getting worse.”
It’s unclear what caused the aircraft to go down. The incident is under investigation.
Authorities did not disclose what type of aircraft Lillard was piloting at the time of the incident.