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2 Other Americans Missing : Man, Child Survive Air Crash, Swim 30 Hours to Haiti Shore

July 08, 1987|United Press International

PORT-AU-PRINCE, Haiti — A vacationing New York City man and his 14-year-old daughter survived a small plane crash and swam more than 30 hours to the Haitian coast, a U.S. Embassy spokesman said Tuesday.

Two other American passengers are still missing, and the pilot, believed to be Haitian, was killed when the Piper Aztec plane crashed off the coast of Haiti on Saturday night, spokesman Jeffrey Lite said.

Francis Randall and his daughter, Arianne, had been celebrating her 14th birthday at a Club Med resort in Haiti before boarding the plane for a short night flight to the Dominican Republic, Lite said.

The pilot apparently lost his way and headed west over the ocean instead of east toward the neighboring Dominican Republic, Lite said. The two countries share the island of Hispaniola. The pilot radioed that he was losing fuel at 9 p.m., then was not heard from again.

The plane crashed at an undetermined location and the four passengers clung to the wreckage for about seven hours.

Lite said that Randall and his daughter gave the best two life jackets to the other passengers--a woman who could not swim and another who had broken her arm and suffered a concussion--and began the long swim to shore.

Radio Soleil in Port-au-Prince reported the Randalls came ashore about 11 a.m. Monday at Anse d'Hainault, about 130 miles west of the capital.

Randall and his daughter were taken to a hospital in town of Jeremie, where they were treated for bruises and cuts and reported in good condition, Lite said.

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