HILO, Hawaii (CBS / AP) — The U.S. Coast Guard has rescued the pilot of a small plane who was forced to ditch in the Pacific Ocean after running out of fuel while flying from California’s Central Coast to Hawaii.

Petty Officer Angela Henderson said the 65-year-old pilot, whose name was not released, called for help Friday afternoon after noticing his Cessna was low on fuel about 400 miles east of Hilo.  The Guard sent a plane to fly alongside him and dispatched a vessel known as a cutter to the area.

The Guard was waiting when the pilot, who had been flying the twin-engine plane to the Big Island from Monterey, splashed down 13 miles shy of the island.

A rescue swimmer helped hoist the man to a hovering helicopter.

He was hospitalized with minor injuries.

(Copyright 2011 by CBS San Francisco. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)

Comments (7)
  1. Bill says:

    What am I missing here ? A 2300 mile trip in a plane with a max. range of 1300 miles .

  2. PeepsRepublikOfKalifornia says:

    Clearly he was running auxiliary tanks. Probably had an unexpected head wind or a leak in the system. After all, he’d fl;own some 600 miles beyond the usual maximum range of the plane with standard tanks.

  3. Chuck Sherman Jr says:

    I hope the Coast Guard bills this guy for this!!!

  4. Jack says:

    What a MORON, it takes fuel to make the plane fly…..he had better be billed for the rescue and pollution to the water…..what a selfish pile of waste…..

  5. BigD says:

    He should have called AAA.

  6. Darwin says:

    Moral of the story – Do not try to fly to Hawaii in a small plane! Natural selection has been foiled.

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