Pilot 'miraculously survives' as plane crashes into sea off Wales coast
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A pilot has survived after their plane crashed into the sea off the coast of South Wales.
The RNLI confirmed in a statement that at 9.22am they responded to a callout and the pilot of the light aircraft was attended to by paramedics.
A small red and white plane was spotted in the water near the Seabank Hotel, Porthcawl this morning (13 June) and local residents say they heard the plane's engine struggling before they saw it crash into the sea.
Witnesses said they heard the light aircraft 'spluttering', with James Brown saying he was walking near the bay where the plane crashed and heard it 'stutter' before it 'swooped' into the sea.
Terry Sinnett said he'd seen the pilot 'walking' after the crash and later tweeted that whomever had been behind the aircraft's controls had just had a 'miraculous escape'.
While Sinnett said he saw the pilot being 'helped away from sea by the emergency services', the situation could have been very different if the plane had gone down somewhere else as it crashed into the sea, but avoided the nearby rocks of the bay.
"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," Brown told the Press Association.
“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."
He said the pilot had experienced a 'very near miss' and that there would have been 'would have been a very different outcome' had the plane crashed onto the rocks nearby.
Chris Page, a spokesperson for the RNLI at Porthcawl, provided a statement on the plane crash which confirmed that the pilot was safe after going down in the water.
He 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.”