Horry County Fire Rescue and Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue responded to a plane crash between Springmaid Pier and Myrtle Beach State Park Tuesday afternoon.
According to Myrtle Beach Fire Rescue deputy fire chief Tom Gwyer, the pilot took off from Myrtle Beach International Airport and had engine trouble over the ocean.
The pilot was able to “ditch the plane into the ocean,” meaning that the pilot completed a water landing, according to Kirk Lovell with Myrtle Beach International Airport.
A local helicopter company, Oceanfront Helicopters, was informed by Air Traffic Control that a plane had gone down, and it sent three helicopters to assist in the rescue.
“One soul was on board the aircraft,” said Lovell. “The pilot has been rescued and is on shore being treated by EMTs.”
According to Gwyer, the man was treading water when rescuers arrived, fully dressed in jeans and shoes.
Lovell said the plane was a private general aviation aircraft.
“It was a lot of excitement, but it ended with a good outcome,” said Gwyer.
Several people witnessed the crash live.
“I saw the airplane take off, it lost its height and started going real low, skimmed the water, stopped; it was floating for about five minutes, then you saw the tail go up and under,” said witness Russ Magee.
Gwyer said the FAA will take over the investigation because the incident involved an aircraft.
“The plane is at the bottom of the ocean,” said Gwyer.