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How Two Australia-bound Flights Totally Turned Good Samaritan

October 19, 2012 at 11:35 AM | by | ()

Everything is going fine and dandy as you get ready for the last little bit of your long-haul flight over to Australia; however, all of a sudden you see something odd down in the waters off the coast out your window. Something like this actually happened for some passengers aboard an Air Canada flight on its way down under, as the pilot and crew helped rescue a stranded sailor.

The flight from Vancouver to Sydney took a temporary detour as it hoped to gain a glimpse of a solo sailor who activated an emergency beacon after some bad luck and bad weather left him stranded at sea. The Air Canada plane—a Boeing 777—dropped to about 5,000 feet as the crew asked passengers to help check out the scene out the window. Sure enough, thanks to some passenger-supplied binoculars, the crew spotted the distressed sailor and they were able to radio back the coordinates and other helpful tidbits of location information.

After the initial help from the Air Canada passengers and crew it was time for Air New Zealand to lend a second helping hand. One of their planes also checked out the location, and they were able to confirm what was going on down there. A rescue crew rendezvoused with the boat-in-distress some 270 nautical miles off the Australian shoreline and were able to pick up the yachtsman.

It's basically just a good, heart-warming news story all around and makes us feel a little more justified for preferring a window seat to an aisle.


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