As a matter of fact, there has been no instance in documentented intentional water ditchings (as opposed to runway overflys, crashes at sea, etc.) where there have NOT been survivors! The following is taken from the FAQs of the website of the Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survvivors - www.rescue007.org
"14. Are there records of people surviving other ditching attempts?
Five intentional passenger (cargo) airliner ditchings have been documented. The following figures show survival rates for passengers and crew:
Aeroflot Tupolev 124, October, 1963, Neva river, 52 occupants, 52 survivors, 100% survival rate
DC9, May 2, 1970, the Caribbean, 63 occupants, 40 survivors, 63% survival rate
Ethiopian Air Lines 767, November 23, 1996, off the Comoros Islands, 172 occupants, 45 survivors, 26% survival rate
Miami Air Lease Convair CV
-340, December 4, 2004, Mall lake, Florida, 2 occupants, 2 survivors, 100% survival rate
Pan Am Flt. 943 Stratocruiser "Sovereign of the Skies", October 16, 1956, in the Pacific between Honolulu and San Francisco, 30 passengers and crew, 30 survivors, 100% survival rate
Though not a passenger plane, still relevant - Columbian AF
C 130 Hercules, October 1982, en route between the Azores and Bermuda stayed afloat for 2 days! See photo - http://www.spectrumwd.com/c130/image2/c130_690.jpg
For additional information see the Ditchings page.
Based on reports that had come to the Israeli Research Centre for Prisons, Psychprisons, and Forced Labor Concentration Camps of the USSR
, we believe that the passengers and crew, with their luggage, were boarded onto Soviet boats and ships and abducted. We believe these boats and ships to be both the coastal patrol boats under command of KGB General Romanenko and the civilian trawlers ordered to the rescue by Deputy Commander of the Far East Military District, General Strogov at 6:54 - just 16 minutes after KAL007 had descended to 1,000 feet, the altitude under which Soviet radar could not track. (See Story Section -- Escape From Destruction). We believe, in accordance with the statement to Izvestia by Commander of the Soviet Pacific Fleet, Admiral Vladimir Vasilyevich Siderov, that "small boats" had already arrived at the site 27 minutes after KAL's set down ("crash", according to the Admiral - who also maintains that there were no bodies in the water). Furthermore, according to reports to Izvestia by amazed Soviet divers who had visited KAL 007 underwater just 2 weeks after the downing, no bodies were found on board or anywhere else (See KAL 007, The U.S. 7th Fleet, and the Great Russian Ruse). And according to the Soviet official claims, there were no bodies found on the surface of the water at "impact" site (though the Soviets did return 213 fished out footwear - representing 74% of the 269 occupants of KAL 007! See FAQ 12 - Do any of the items belonging to the passengers which were returned by the Soviets bear on the question of passenger rescue? What about the shoes?).
If, contrary to our belief, the passengers and crew of KAL 007 had not been rescued and abducted, and if, as in fact, there were no bodies found on top of the surface of the sea or found under the surface of the sea within KAL 007's wreckage, then there should have been live people, if not in KAL 007's own life rafts, then floating in the waters off Moneron Island until the arrival of the Soviet "small boats" - within one half hour. This is supported by the following survival manual survival rates for persons able to swim or who are wearing life jackets or who have use of some floating support, in waters of 50 degrees - the temperature of the waters off Moneron Island that morning:
Up to 50 minutes - Practically 100% survival
Up to 3 1/2 hours - 50 % survival
Past 3 1/2 hours - Acceleratingly, down to 0% survival (figures are survival manual figures referred to in the Republican Staff Study)
But there were no people, living or dead found on or under the waters. Where, then, are our people?"
[Edited 2005-05-06 23:02:45]
Bert Schlossberg, International Director, International Committee for the Rescue of KAL 007 Survivors