Lifeguards in Daytona Beach Shores, Florida, had to rescue a 75-year-old after his plane came down in the ocean.
People enjoying the afternoon sun on the beach were shocked to see the plane plunge into the ocean, its tail sticking up like a sail.
Richard Goosman had flown his plane from North Carolina when he ran out of fuel on Oct. 16, according to local media, citing officials.
Goosman brought the plane down in the ocean to avoid people on the beach.
He was taken to hospital as a precaution, but local media reported he was not seriously injured.
The dramatic moments of the rescue were streamed live on Facebook by Daytona Beach Shores Department of Public Safety.
‘I Thought It Was a Sailboat’
Witnesses said they didn’t realize what was happening when they first saw the plane drop near the water.
Witness Marcia Harden told Fox 35, “A neighbor of mine and I were walking on the beach and I noticed the plane coming in very gracefully. She said, ‘He has no pontoons.’ About that time I said, ‘Well he’s crashing!'”
“It didn’t really register until we ran down on the beach and we were like omg there’s an airplane right in front of us,” Dana Levey told Fox.
Ken Meldonian told WFTV that he didn’t realize it was a plane when he first saw it.
“I saw the big tail come up, and then I thought it was a sailboat that flipped over,” he said. “And then you saw the wings of the plane. I said, ‘Oh, my gosh. That’s the crash.'”
After crashing, Goosman swam out of the plane, clinging to a wing of the plane until he was rescued by a lifeguard.
‘That Tide Is So Strong’
Video footage shows lifeguards pulling him from the wreckage and bringing him to shore.
After rescuing Goosman, lifeguards went back to the sinking plane, tied a rope near the cabin, and towed it to shore as a crowd looked on.
A bystander was treated at the scene for exhaustion after assisting with the rescue.
One unnamed witness told News 6 that the rescuers were working against a strong tide.
“I was swimming in there earlier on,” she said. “That tide is so strong. I give them credit for being able to get out there because it was really tough.”
Videos show the right wing of the single-engine Jabiru 250 was broken.
The plane is registered to Goosman according to Federal Aviation Authority records that categorize it as “amateur built,” under the classification of ‘Experimental.”
It was built in 2005.
The Jabiru 250 is a very lightweight plane with a 32-foot wingspan, a top speed of 159 mph, and a range of 760 miles, according to the Jabiru Pacific website.
Weighing just 755 pounds, the aircraft can land at a speed of just 52 mph.