Two men were rescued this evening when a light aircraft ditched in the sea off Xlendi after apparently suffering engine failure.

The incident happened at about 6.30p.m.

The two, a 55-year-old pilot and a 61-year-old passenger, both Italian, were picked up by a private boat which happened to be close by.

An AFM helicopter was quickly on the scene. A patrol boat was also deployed.

The plane, equipped with floats, is understood to have taken off from Sicily. It overturned on ditching.

The police are investigating whether local air traffic control was informed of the plane's presence. 

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