By WECT Staff

BALD HEAD ISLAND, N.C. (WECT) – Emergency crews responded after reports of a plane crash in the water near Battery Island Friday morning.

According to a U.S. Coast Guard 5th District representative, at 8:25 a.m., a call was received from Sea Tow concerning a seaplane on the water that was struck by a swell.

The Coast Guard states the plane was attempting to take off when it was struck.

“It definitely happens. It’s always a risk, especially with a seaplane in the Cape Fear River, in particular. It can chop up really quickly from the air. It looks totally different than it is on the surface. You don’t really see the chop until you’re right at the last second before you touch down so it’s not a super common thing, but it definitely happens every once in a while,” Geiss said.

The plane reportedly began taking on water, and the Coast Guard deployed units to assist the plane’s two occupants.

A “good Samaritan” got to the plane first, and picked up the two occupants with their catamaran. Jon Geiss, Assitant Manager of SeaTow in Wrightsville Beach, says the two passengers are lucky to be alive after how much damage was done to the plane.

“So I did dive on the plane. The plane is flipped over right now. It looks like the starboard wing of the plane is completely gone in the motor as well. The port motor is also gone the port wing seems to still be somewhat intact, but pretty torn up the frame is all torn up. It’s a very thin metal frame so it’s very jagged a bunch of broken-off pieces. It’s pretty well mutilated underwater,” Geiss said.

As of about 9:20 a.m., basic first aid was being administered to the plane’s two occupants.

Just before 10 a.m., The Village of Bald Head Island released the following statement:

“Small Plane Crash this Morning off BHI: At 8:25 a.m., 911 calls were made by observers on Bald Head Island who saw a small plane crash into the water. It landed about half a mile offshore. Brunswick County Sheriff, US Coast Guard, Bald Head Island, Southport Fire and Sea Tow responded. It was a blue, single-pilot plane. The pilot was recovered by a private vessel and transferred to the US Coast Guard. The aircraft has been recovered and will be towed to a boat ramp on the mainland.”

The Southport Fire Department is assisting the Coast Guard and Bald Head Island Fire Department.

Updates will be provided when more information becomes available.