Man, Dog Survive Ocean Plane Crash, Swim to Shore

Pilot reported engine issues before small plane crashed just off California coast on Sunday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Apr 17, 2024 9:20 AM CDT
Man, Dog Survive Ocean Plane Crash, Swim to Shore
A photo of the scene from the Los Angeles Sheriff’s Department Air Rescue 5.   (Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department)

The horror that came in seeing a small plane crash into the ocean off California on Sunday soon turned to relief as the pilot and his dog were able to escape the wreckage and swim to shore, where they were met by responding authorities. The pilot had reported engine trouble before his single-engine Piper PA-32 fell into the waves across from the Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles in Rancho Palos Verdes, according to a Tuesday statement from the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department, which responded to a bystander's 911 call around 5:20pm local time, per the Los Angeles Times.

The plane had crashed about 150 to 200 yards from shore. It ultimately sank, but not before the pilot, who'd been flying from Santa Monica to Long Beach, escaped with his dog. They were treated for what the Guardian reports were minor injuries. The FAA is investigating the circumstances of the crash, which it considers accidental due to engine issues, per the Times. It's unclear if the wreckage will be raised. The Coast Guard will assess possible environmental damage from the plane's fuel. (More plane crash stories.)

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