A helicopter carrying three passengers crashed into the ocean feet away from a packed beach in Miami, Fla. on Saturday. The incident was caught on video shared by the Miami Beach Police Department.
Two of the three passengers were injured in the crash. They were quickly transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital and are in stable condition.
“This afternoon at 1:10 p.m., MBPD received a call of a helicopter crash in the ocean near 10 Street. Police and Miami Beach Fire responded to the scene along with several partner agencies. Two occupants have been transported to Jackson Memorial Hospital in stable condition,” Miami Beach Police Department posted on social media along with video of the aircraft going down.
Miami Beach Police said the Federal Aviation Administration responded to the scene. The FAA later said the Robinson R44 helicopter went down around 1:20 p.m. EST, CBS Miami reported.
“All of a sudden, we saw a helicopter which you really didn’t see until it was about 20 feet above the water and then all of a sudden it sounded like it was losing power and then it hit the water,” tourist Greg Woods said.
“It didn’t look like anyone was hurt, it looked like a pretty soft landing from what I could see, I think they just help some people out for precaution’s sake, but it seems like everyone was all right and a lot of people chipped in to help,” Woods continued.
Another tourist and witness, Joe Siniscalchi, said the incident happened “really fast.”
“All of a sudden, you heard some noise like a loud car almost and someone said that looks really low, I turn to look, then it hit the water. It kind of flipped and went right and it came down really fast. It happened really fast”, Siniscalchi said.
“Everybody started running and swimming towards getting the folks out it looks like they got them out pretty quickly,” he added.
The National Transportation Safety Board is investigating the crash. The cause of the accident is unclear.
Also on Saturday, another helicopter crashed just off the coast in southern California, killing one police officer.
Two Huntington Beach officers aboard the helicopter were responding to a call in Newport Beach when it crashed into a narrow channel of water between Lido Isle and Balboa Peninsula, landing upside down. Officer Nicholas Vella, 44, died on scene. Another officer was transported to the hospital with critical injuries, but the police department said he was released on Sunday.