Are you ready for a ditching?

 - June 20, 2008, 4:41 AM

For those who operate aircraft over water, knowing how to ditch is an important safety issue. So is having the right equipment. Eastern Aero Marine, based in Miami,  claims 15 lives have been saved in three aircraft ditchings in the past six months after crew and passengers used its inflatable survival gear products.

Two families totaling four adults and five children were rescued in an EAM life raft with a locator light after both engines of their Piper Chieftain quit over the water off of Nantucket, Mass., in May. A pilot and three passengers were safely located floating in an EAM life raft after their Pilatus PC-12 went down in the Sea of Okhotsk off of the east coast of Russia in June. Then a pair of pilots were rescued wearing EAM life vests after ditching a Cessna 172 in waters off the coast of the Bahamas. All survived without serious injury.

EAM life rafts were also used in the filming of the Tom Hanks movie, Cast Away. A manufacturer of life rafts and vests for aviators worldwide, EAM claims to be the “foremost manufacturer of inflatable safety gear.” EAM also produces survival and first-aid kits, ELTs and radio beacons and other safety equipment.