Five crew members had a lucky escape when the plane crashed in gale-force conditions

The Channel Island’s search and rescue plane ‘Lions Pride’ crash landed on Jersey while assisting with a rescue.

Five crew members on board had a lucky escape yesterday when the Channel Islands Air Search (CIAS) plane crashed in woodland on St Mary’s, Jersey while assisting the Jersey All Weather Lifeboat and the French Carteret Lifeboat with a search for two fisherman.

The missing fisherman had ventured out from Les Ecrehou Islands off Jersey’s north east coast in a dinghy on Sunday afternoon.

It was reported to Jersey Coastguard that the two men in a dinghy were missing at approximately 6pm.

St Helier Lifeboat, together with a search a rescue helicopter

from the nearby French port of Cherbourg attended, together with

Alderney Lifeboat

A Jersey Police spokesman said the Channel Islands Airsearch aircraft, with five crew onboard, was involved in the search & rescue operation when it

crashed on the north coast of the island in the vicinity of

Devil’s Hole.

Fortunately, there were no reported casualties. Members of the public were asked to stay away from the area.

The Jersey and French lifeboats continued searching the sea between

Les Ecrehou’s and Carteret Peninsular for the fishermen, along with a UK

search and rescue helicopter.

Jersey Coastguard said the two fishermen were found about 11.30pm. Both men were conscious but suffering from hypothermia.

Local boatman Tony Rive said: ‘The weather was foul, with force 9 winds with gusts of up to 60 knots from the south with sea conditions reported as horrendous.

He added: ‘This was definitely one of the biggest search incidents of the Channel Islands for many years.’

Pictures: The Channel Islands Airsearch Place and Spirit of Guernsey Lifeboat. Credit: Tony Rive