Local fisherman were bringing in the day's catch when the 737 went down. The airline said the plane landed short of the runway. "I thought "this is not the way it's supposed to happen".
The flight had crashed in Micronesia when it was trying to land at the Chuuk Island airport. Several passengers were injured - one critically - but everyone survived.
Within minutes, locals scrambled a flotilla of small boats to pluck the 35 passengers and 12 crew from the water.
Passenger Bill Jaynes, editor of the Pohnpei-based Kaselehlie Press newspaper said he did not even realise there had been an accident until he saw water gushing into the fuselage.
"I was really impressed with the locals who immediately started coming out in boats", he said in an interview with a Baptist missionary in Chuuk, Matthew Colson, who recorded the rescue effort and posted his interview with Jaynes on Facebook. "One would think they might be afraid of approaching the plane that's just crashed". Multiple reports said there was decreased visibility due to adverse weather. Divers are working to recover the plane's black boxes and the National Transportation Safety Board and Federal Aviation Administration will assist with the investigation.
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He also noted that no recourse was provided to a woman against her husband who engages in sexual relations outside marriage. Some northern states in Nigeria practise capital punishment for adultery, rape and homosexuality.
The Boeing 737-800 is purportedly a 13-year-old aircraft that was previously operated by Jet Airways and Air India Express and was involved in a collision at Port Moresby in May, The Guardian reported. Chuuk makes up one of its four island states.
He said he has yet to see a passenger manifest, but typical passengers would include businesspeople from Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and Australia, as well as some tourists.
Chuuk Lagoon is a popular diving destination and the site of sunken Japanese ships that were bombed by the US military during World War II.
Jaynes, meanwhile, reflecting on his experience, said, "I'm alive, and that's an extremely good thing".
Micronesia is a constitutional government in free association with the United States; achieved independence in 1986.
Two Australians were on board the aircraft at the time of the crash.