South Coast plane crash: training exercise becomes the real thing

Marine Rescue volunteers had just completed a training exercise where they simulated a search for a crashed plane when the real thing happened on Sunday

Marine rescue regional coordinator for the Illawarra Bruce Mitchell drove to Batemans Bay to assist with the operation after a light aircraft came down near Barlings Beach at 12.10pm.

He said Batemans Bay Marine Rescue boats had just returned from the training exercise when the crash happened.

One man has been confirmed dead, while another remains missing.

Mr Mitchell said visibility and weather conditions had so far aided the search.

“They could just make out the wreckage on the bottom and also they ran the sounding equipment over it there was something of a reasonable size there,” he said.

The search has focused in an area of water about 22 metres deep, Mr Mitchell said.

“From the wreckage I saw brought back in last night it must’ve been a hard impact,” he said.

Water police from Sydney will dive the wreck on Monday to try and find the body of the missing man.