Small plane crashes into San Diego Bay - CBS News 8 - San Diego, CA News Station - KFMB Channel 8

Small plane crashes into San Diego Bay

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SAN DIEGO (CBS 8) - Two men in a single-engine Cessna were flying a banner in the air above the bay, when they were forced to make an emergency landing in the water Saturday afternoon.

The men were not hurt and the plane did not hit anything or anyone in the bay, after crashing into the water by the Hilton around 4:30 p.m. Saturday.

The two men on board were able to get out of the plane safely and out of the water with the help of Good Samaritans - local boaters Michael Novick and Sue Vermeeren.

The two describe seeing a small airplane flying a banner over San Diego Bay reading "USS Midway Honoring Our Heros." Then they describe seeing it come crashing down into the water:

"i noticed they dropped the sign immediately."

The plane floated for about 20 seconds, which was just enough time for the two men on board to get out of the plane before it went under. That's when the pair sailed into action. They pulled the passenger out of the water and into their speed boat, while another Good Samaritan picked up the pilot. The Coast Guard took it from there.

The plane, which Harbor Police say belongs to Banner Joe's out of El Cajon, reportedly had a mechanical failure. The engine stopped and then it plunged into the bay.

But thanks to the quick actions of boaters like Novick and Vermeeren, the two men were only in the water for minutes.

The coast guard says about 15 gallons of fuel spilled into the water and it's assessing the environmental impact.

The owner of the plane - Banner Joe's - is paying for it's recovery.

As of this report, the names of the pilot and his passenger have not been released.

Late saturday night, a salvaging company was preparing to remove a the plane from San Diego Bay.

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