National AP News | WCTV Eyewitness News: Tallahassee, Thomasville, Valdosta

Plane Crash Anniversary

MIAMI (AP) _ A boater will be honored today for racing to the
scene of a jumbo jet crash 35 years ago in the Everglades.
Eastern Airlines Flight 401 crashed on December 29th, 1972, in
west Miami-Dade County. Robert Marquis was about ten miles away in
his airboat when he saw an orange flash of fire in the moonless
night.
Marquis and a friend raced to the scene, where they saved
several of the plane's passengers from drowning. The light on
Marquis' helmet helped direct rescue helicopters to the remote
crash site.
The National Air Disaster Alliance/Foundation today will give
Marquis a humanitarian award for being the first to respond to the
crash. The friend who had accompanied Marquis has since died.
Of the 176 people on board, 101 were killed in the crash.


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