Porthcawl: Pilot escapes plane crash after aircraft lands in sea

  • Video credit: James Brown

Dramatic footage has shown the moment a light aircraft crashed into the sea off the south Wales coast.

A pilot escaped the wreckage shortly after the incident on Tuesday morning in Porthcawl and was later taken to hospital.

The alarm was raised at 9:20am following reports a light aircraft had landed in the water close to nearby rocks.

Pictures from the scene showed the small red and white plane in shallow water, between the lifeboat station and the Seabank Hotel at Porthcawl.

Emergency services rushed to the scene including South Wales Police and Welsh Ambulance Service.

  • Video credit: Wales News Service

A picture posted on social media shows the aircraft close to the shore with an RNLI lifeboat nearby. It appears to show the plane upside down in the water.

Three RNLI lifeboats have been involved in ensuring the aircraft is secure and "does not become a danger to navigation."

Chris Page, RNLI Lifeboat Press Officer at Porthcawl has said: ‘RNLI volunteer crews never quite know what to expect when the call for help comes.

"We are trained to deal with every eventuality, but were incredibly relieved to arrive on scene to find the pilot was able to be safely recovered.

"This was a real multi-agency effort between the fire service, the Coastguard and the RNLI."

  • Video credit: RNLI

Eyewitnesses reported hearing the plane's engine "spluttering" before seeing it crash-land.

Onlooker Terry Sinnett, who saw the incident unfold, tweeted: “Looks like a small aircraft has come down in Porthcawl. Pilot being attended by public but was walking. Hoping everyone is safe.”

He later tweeted: “Think I saw pilot being helped away from sea by the emergency services.

Rescue crews were scene in the water near the crash site Credit: RNLI

“Seems pilot has had a miraculous escape, thankfully.”

James Brown, 75, saw the plane crash while walking on Lock’s Common, an area of land near the bay.

Mr Brown, a retired church minister, said he heard the aircraft’s engine “stutter” before the plane “swooped” into the water.

“As I was observing the bay I could hear a fairly low noise of a plane and as I looked to the Swansea direction I saw a light aircraft." He said.

“It was a bright red colour, very visual, and it passed me right by on the edge of the rocks. Then three or four seconds later I heard the engine begin to splutter and stutter. As I watched it, the engine died completely and then very rapidly it just swooped right down into the water.

“I couldn’t see the exact moment of the crash, but I walked over and could see it had upended, with the nose in the water and the tail sticking up in the air.”

Mr Brown described the incident as “a very near miss” and said if the pilot had landed on nearby rocks, it “would have been a very different outcome”.

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