PEARL HARBOR, Hawaii (CBS SF) — A Bay Area man sprung into action to help save people aboard a Hawaiian sightseeing helicopter that crashed into the water.
The chopper came down at Pearl Harbor, near the visitor center for the USS Arizona memorial.
A tourist captured the crash on a cell phone camera.
The helicopter was carrying five people when it developed some kind of trouble. The pilot ditched in the shallow waters next to tourists on shore who were visiting the USS Arizona museum.
Redwood City resident Max Burner said he saw the whole episode.
“I saw the helicopter sputtering about 500 feet and the pilot did what I would call an amazing job,” said Burner. “As it was sputtering and coming down … he put it right just off the shore where everybody was because as soon as people saw it coming they started running.”
Burner was among a group of people who went into the water and worked to get the passengers out of the helicopter.
“Two got out. I jumped in,” said Burner. “There were three people in the water. There was a woman in the water. Got her to shore.”
A 16-year-old boy was apparently underwater for several minutes. He was reported in critical condition.
Four others onboard were in better shape, but were also rushed to the hospital.
The helicopter involved belongs to a company called Genesis Aviation.
The National Transportation Safety Board is now investigating the crash.