The Atkins family – Andy, wife Jenny and son Logan were enjoying an air tour of the tiny island of Roatan in the Honduras when their worst nightmare became real. The plane’s engine died and the plane crashed into the sea. In spite of the terrifying turn of events, fate was smiling on the family from Dallas, Texas because help was nearby. Passengers from a nearby boat saw the crash and sped to the scene, diving into the water upon arrival to assist in the rescue. A second boat also arrived quickly. Onboard were two doctors who were able to treat the crash victims immediately.
The presence of the doctors may have been what saved the day. Atkins told Savannah Guthrie of TODAY that he shudders to think what might have happened to his wife and son without the assistance of the doctors.
Atkins had taken the same flight a few weeks earlier with college chums and felt comfortable taking his family. There was no time to even realize there was a problem as the plane was just a few hundred feet above the water when disaster struck. It took several seconds before Atkins realized they had crashed and he needed to move before he drowned.
The pilot freed Atkins from his seat restraints and helped him to the surface. Atkins dove back down in search of his wife and 4 year-old son but needed to resurface for air and dive a second time. When he reached them, the pilot was already freeing them from their seats. Atkins describes how his wife used her last bit of consciousness to push their son to him. He surfaced with the boy just as she surfaced.
Passengers in the first boat to arrive jumped in to help the family. The timing was nothing short of miraculous. Had the boats not been in the vicinity, the accident could have been much worse. The family was placed on the back of the boat and the doctors went to work, providing oxygen and other care as the boat sped to shore. The family stayed in the hospital for four days before returning to Texas where they continue to recover.
The family’s near miss also provided something else, a second chance and reaffirmation of faith in humanity, according to Atkins. Humbled by the number of people who stepped up to help during the crisis, he says they will be looking for opportunities to help others in their time of need. They feel a bond with the local people in Roatan and intend to return in the future, sans the air plane rides.