Entries in Haiti (3)


Pair Survives Plane Crash at Sea En Route to Charity Mission in Haiti

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MIAMI) -- A father and daughter from Alabama are continuing on with their medical mission in Haiti after surviving a harrowing plane crash off the coast of Florida while en route to the island nation.

Dr. Richard McGlaughlin, 59, and his 25-year-old daughter, Elaine McGlaughlin, departed from their home near Birmingham, Ala., on Saturday for a planned stop in Miami, before continuing on to Haiti.  Just one hour after the pair took off from Miami, however, trouble struck in their small plane, forcing Dr. McGlaughlin, the pilot, to send a distress signal to Coast Guard officials that their single-engine jet was going down.

Quickly coming to their aid were two Coast Guard lieutenants, who happened to be on a cargo mission nearby and raced to the plane’s location, just off the coast of Andros Island in the Bahamas. The Coast Guard also deployed a HC-144 Ocean Sentry fixed-wing aircraft from Miami to find the McGlaughlin’s airplane.

Mechanical failure had caused the engine to stop, something both father and daughter could see from their perches on board the plane.

The McGlaughlins relied on the plane’s parachute to descend into the ocean, but at a descent of about 25 miles per hour.  Once the two hit the water, they faced the risk of drowning as the water in the plane rose around them.

The doctor and his daughter managed to make it out onto one of the plane’s wings, and then into an emergency inflatable raft stored on the plane.  Minutes later, an MH-60 Jayhawk helicopter deployed from Clearwater by the Coast Guard began to circle overhead.

Video shot by the Coast Guard shows the tail and wing of their plane sticking up out of the water, along with the plane’s parachute that saved their lives.

Coast Guard officials were able to hoist the two up out of the water and safely into the helicopter, with no injuries reported.  The pair were then flown to Odyssey Airport in Nassau, Bahamas.

Despite the scare, the incident wasn't enough to keep McGlaughlin and his daughter from going to Haiti; they departed Monday morning to the country.

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Copyright 2012 ABC News Radio


Irene Strengthens, Becomes First Hurricane of 2011 Atlantic Season

National Hurricane Center/NOAA/ National Weather Service(MIAMI) -- Irene officially became the first hurricane of the 2011 Atlantic season after it picked up strength over Puerto Rico early Monday morning.

Hurricane Irene is now packing top winds of 75 miles an hour and is centered about 25 miles west of San Juan, Puerto Rico.  It is moving north/northwest and is expected to approach the Dominican Republic later Monday.

"On this forecast track, the center of Irene will be moving off the coast of Puerto Rico this morning and move near or over the northern coast of the Dominican Republic this afternoon and tonight," said Dennis Feltgen, a spokesman for the National Hurricane Center in Miami.

It is not yet known exactly how Irene will affect the U.S., but Feltgen says people should keep their eyes open.

"As far as its direct impacts on the United States are concerned it's still a little unclear," he said.  "But we are urging residents along the southeast coast in general and Florida in particular to pay close attention to this storm."

For now, the National Weather Service has issued a hurricane warning for parts of Puerto Rico, the Dominican Republic and Haiti.  A hurricane watch has also been issued for central Bahamas.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio


Be the Change: Students Help Haiti Rebuild

Photo Courtesy - Getty Images(BOSTON) -- One year after a 7.0 earthquake struck Haiti, college students around the world are still raising funds for relief efforts to help the estimated one million people displaced in the earthquake's aftermath.

Even in the best-case scenario, rebuilding will take years. But Haiti is not the best-case scenario -- violence, political uncertainty, and the recent cholera outbreak have slowed relief efforts -- and a helping hand is needed now as much as ever.

In 2010, following the earthquake, students at Dartmouth College volunteered to help in the crisis, leading school fundraising efforts in the United States for Haiti, collecting over $1.5 million in money and donations of medical supplies.

The relief group Partners in Health is helping distribute supplies on the ground by working with the Haitian government to build clinics, as well as supporting and training medical teams to provide care for more than 100,000 Haitians.

"The first $200,000 went solely to Partners in Health already on the ground. In addition, the funds since have been used by Dartmouth to send their own medical teams and supplies, and for educational initiatives to bring Haitian students to Dartmouth," said Molly Bode, a 2009 Dartmouth graduate who spearheaded the Dartmouth Haiti Response last year.

Because of Bode and the Dartmouth efforts, over 51 medical professionals and 40 tons of medical supplies have been sent to Haiti. Seven water purification systems were also sent to help with the cholera outbreak that has infected 171,304 and left 3,650 people dead since October. Each purification system can provide enough clean water for 750 families.

This week Partners in Health said more supplies are needed to prevent further death and illness. Most urgent are cholera vaccinations and large-scale municipal water and sewage treatment facilities.

Copyright 2011 ABC News Radio

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