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Hijacked Cuban Plane Downed in International Waters Off Florida; U.S. Coast Guard Commander Discusses Rescue EffortsAired September 19, 2000 - 12:21 p.m. ET
THIS IS A RUSH TRANSCRIPT. THIS COPY MAY NOT BE IN ITS FINAL FORM AND MAY BE UPDATED.
JEANNE MESERVE, CNN ANCHOR: More now about that Cuban plane, downed in international waters off Florida.
Joining us on the telephone, Commander Marcus Woodring, of the U.S. Coast Guard.
Commander, can you tell us how rescue efforts are progressing?
CMDR. MARCUS WOODRING, U.S. COAST GUARD: Yes, the Coast Guard currently has three Coast Guard cutters headed to the scene. In addition to that, a C-130 long-range rescue aircraft, a Falcon jet, and three helicopters. They should be on scene shortly.
MESERVE: They have not seen any sign of this aircraft at this point?
WOODRING: No, and the position that we're using right now is coming from radar fixes, and it is known as the last-known position of the aircraft. Once our assets get on scene, we'll evaluate and start an expanding square search from that position.
MESERVE: How does this rescue effort compare to others? is it exceptionally large?
WOODRING: This is a rather interesting rescue. It is further offshore than normally. The Coast Guard normally deals with boaters along the coastline. This one is out in the Straits of Florida, and we are having to use the larger cutters, and the longer range aircraft in order to get out there.
MESERVE: I know it's a guess, but can you estimate for us when, in fact, your assets may be on the scene?
WOODRING: We have a Coast Guard cutter that should be there in the next 15 minutes, and we have an aircraft that should be overhead momentarily.
MESERVE: Marcus Woodring, thanks for joining us.
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