The Orange County Register
A Huntington Beach police helicopter “crash-landed” in the water in Newport Beach on Saturday evening and a rescue operation was launched, officials said. Both pilots aboard were pulled from the aircraft and were being treated for injuries sustained in the crash.
There were two pilots aboard the helicopter, HB1, said Jennifer Carey, a spokesperson for the Huntington Beach Police Department. One had moderate injuries and the other serious injuries, and they were hospitalized for treatment, Carey said.
It happened near the shore in an area between the Lido and Balboa peninsulas.
The crash occurred at 6:34 p.m., a Newport Beach Fire Department dispatcher told City News Service.
Orange County Sheriff’s Department Sgt. Ryan Anderson said that agency assisted, deploying resources to assist with the rescue. The Newport Beach Fire Department and the Orange County Fire Authority also were on scene.
CBS LA posted video of the officers being rescued.
A witness, Joseph Thor, told KTLA what he saw.
“I was barbecuing over on 26th street. You could see a helicopter spiraling, looked like it was losing a little bit of control and it kind of went out of the line of sight but you could see it was going down and apparently crashed in the water over there,” Thor said.
Larry Sato told NBC Los Angeles his party was waiting to be seated for dinner when it happened.
“We were waiting for a table at The Crab Cooker (restaurant) and we saw the helicopter circle around a couple times and they kept getting lower and then suddenly we saw the lights just twirling. It went behind the building and we never saw the impact,” Sato said. “It was frightening.”
People who saw the helicopter go down were screaming, said a woman with Sato who was also interviewed by NBC LA.
Saturday’s crash stirred memories of the March 1987 crash of a Costa Mesa police helicopter that killed two Costa Mesa officers aboard. It crashed after colliding with a Newport Beach police helicopter over Irvine while they pursued a suspected car thief.
And earlier Saturday, a helicopter crashed into ocean waters off Miami Beach close to swimmers. Two people were hurt.
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