Banner plane goes down in ocean off Long Beach Island

(Google image)

(Google image)

A banner plane went down in the ocean Saturday afternoon in Surf City, authorities said.

The incident happened around 3:30 p.m. off the coast of the 13th Street beach in the Long Beach Island municipality, prompting a large response from emergency services units, according to eyewitnesses.

Eyewitnesses said the Surf City Beach Patrol lifeguards immediately entered the water to assist the pilot, who was the only person aboard. The plane — identified by the Federal Aviation Administration as a Cessna 150 — reportedly sank quickly.

The pilot was brought ashore and evaluated for injuries, which did not appear to be serious. The pilot was then transported to a local hospital, authorities said.

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It was not immediately known what caused the plane to enter the ocean.

The U.S. Coast Guard arrived on the scene around 4 p.m. Coast Guard Petty Officer Edward Wargo said the plane hasn’t been recovered and remains in about 17 feet of water.

The FAA said it would investigate and the National Transportation Safety Board would work to determine the probable cause of the accident.

The Associated Press contributed to this report. 

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