Dramatic video of a pilot being rescued by a newly-minted lifeguard after bringing his crippled plane down in the ocean has been released.
The plane went down just 30 yards off a private beach on Rhode Island, crowded with weekend visitors.
The 62-year-old pilot from Long Island, New York, was seen climbing out on the wing of his aircraft after it crashed Saturday. Moments later, the single-engine plane started sinking nose first. The tail section was poking out of the water.
Two lifeguards sprang into action and pulled the pilot on to a surfboard and bring him to shore. Amazingly, he was unhurt.
One lifeguard was identified as 18-year-old David Darling and it was his first day as a summer lifeguard.
"It was my first day, first shift ever lifeguarding," he told Inside Edition. "A little more excitement than you would ask for. First thing we asked was ‘is there anyone else in the plane?’ The answer was no, so, we started our rescue of the pilot."
Eyewitness Tom Lockwood says the pilot appeared to put his plane down in the ocean to avoid hitting people on the beach.
“I noticed up ahead of me there was a plane. And the plane was kind of coming at me and I said, 'oh that must be a remote controlled plane,'" he said. "He ended up crashing about a hundred feet off the beach."
It was a baptism by fire for the teenaged lifeguard who admitted he expected his first day to be telling people "to swim safely and keep people out of the water, that was about it."