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Jun 8, 2015

Plane Crash Survivor Recounts Harrowing Experience

Arthur Rogiers

An official investigation into the cause of an airplane crash near Lighthouse Reef last Tuesday, involving a Tropic Air flight destined for Roatan, Honduras remains ongoing.  The inquiry is being undertaken by the Department of Civil Aviation which has teamed up with the Department of Environment to safely remove the submerged aircraft from its aquatic resting place.  During the life-threatening ordeal, seasoned aviator Denfield Borland and his two passengers Honduran national Eddie Bodden and American performing artist Arthur Rogiers managed to keep their wits about them, surviving the impact of the emergency landing.  They would almost immediately abandon the CESSNA-182 aircraft and begin swimming towards the nearest island, approximately three miles away.  Contrary to what has been reported, Rogiers tells News Five that they were not rescued from atop the partially sunken airplane.  Instead, they literally weathered a late evening storm, swimming and wading in the direction of Lighthouse Reef for over an hour.  He gave us a detailed account of what transpired at sea a week ago.


Via Skype: Arthur Rogiers, Crash Survivor

“As we climbed out we reached seven thousand feet maybe about fifteen or twenty minutes into the flight and that was our cruising altitude and it was only maybe three minutes or so, it was no more than say five minutes, I want to say it was about three minutes into that part of the flight where we had engine trouble.  And it wasn’t like, I say engine trouble, but really we lost engine power so it was very abrupt and you could hear and feel the engine just basically power down and it was still spinning and it was, the propeller was idling, basically.  It wasn’t producing thrust. At some point the said he [pilot] said take out your life jackets and put it on and he turned around.  And that was the first time that, you know, it really was clear that we were going down.”


Isani Cayetano

“Were you overcome by fear at that particular point?”


Via Skype: Arthur Rogiers

“No, quite the contrary because I had been in a bit of a Lala Land.  I was excited by what was happening and I thought it was adventurous and I just kind of felt that being that everybody was calm and the captain was calm, he was obviously handling an emergency situation but I just kind of had thought that up until that point that, you know, this is exciting.  I’m nervous but it’s exciting, there’s something about it that’s exciting to me.”


Isani Cayetano

“What was the reaction or what was your passenger’s mood at the time, in terms of either fear, genuine concern that this is indeed a life or death situation?”


Via Skype: Arthur Rogiers

“I think we were genuinely concerned.  I really think we ended up, all three of us, just being probably the best passengers that he could have had and he was the best pilot that we could have had in that situation.  Nobody was freaking out, nobody was hyperventilating or screaming or making erratic motions or doing things.  We were just really very quiet basically and just sort of like, you know, this is what we need to make this work. We all seemed very confident that we would get out and that we would make it.  We, I didn’t have any thought that like I’m going to do.  Now looking back, that could have happened, but at the time, I didn’t feel like I’m going to die here.”


Isani Cayetano

“Describe to me the point of impact when the plane actually plunged into the Caribbean Sea.  What happened at that point between the three of you guys onboard the flight?”


Via Skype: Arthur Rogiers

“So the captain he had told us to put on our life jackets, make sure that they were fastened.  Don’t unbuckle your seatbelt, you know, we needed to remain where we were and try to start moving around and that we should not inflate the life-jacket until we get out.”

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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