Pilot rescued after plane crashes in water near Myrtle Beach Sta - WMBFNews.com, Myrtle Beach/Florence SC, Weather

Pilot rescued after plane crashes in water near Myrtle Beach State Park

A small plane crashed into the ocean near Myrtle Beach State Park on Tuesday. (Source: Ricky Brown) A small plane crashed into the ocean near Myrtle Beach State Park on Tuesday. (Source: Ricky Brown)
Crews responded to a plane crashing into the water near Myrtle Beach State Park on Tuesday. (Source: WMBF News) Crews responded to a plane crashing into the water near Myrtle Beach State Park on Tuesday. (Source: WMBF News)

HORRY COUNTY, SC (WMBF) – Crews responded to a plane crash in the water near Myrtle Beach State Park Tuesday evening.

According to a tweet from Horry County Fire Rescue, crews from Horry County, Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue and Surfside Beach Fire are responding.

Kirk Lovell, spokesperson for the Myrtle Beach International Airport, said it was a private aircraft with one person on board.

Myrtle Beach Fire Deputy Chief Tom Gwyer said the pilot took off from MYR, reported engine trouble and then laid the aircraft down in the ocean.

The pilot got out of the plane and the occupant of a helicopter from a private company dropped him a float, according to Gwyer.

A jet ski was launched to get the pilot and bring him on shore. Gwyer said he was treated on the beach and then driven to an ambulance.

“The lord was with them today,” said Charles Smith, who was at the state park when the plane went in the water.

Jeremy Bass, the owner of Oceanfront Helicopters, said his aircraft were the first on the scene. 

"He executed what would have been the absolute perfect protocol for a water-ditch landing," Bass said. "And we're glad we were there because those precious few minutes could have been the precious few minutes that cost us an otherwise successful operation."

Bass said his team first heard of the crash over the air traffic control channels and responded immediately. He added there was a strong current pulling the pilot farther and farther out, so they had to act fast and get a life jacket to him as quickly as possible. 

"(We) got it all set up, rigged for him, actually balled it up into a ball and threw it to him like a softball and it landed right in front of him," Bass said.

The pilot was transported to Grand Strand Medical Center, but did not appear to have any major medical issues.

Copyright 2017 WMBF News. All rights reserved. 

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