PUTNAM COUNTY, Fla. -- Two people escaped with minor injuries after a seaplane flipped over in the water near Crystal Cove Marina on Tuesday.
According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the 1977 Cessna A185F seaplane took off from the Palatka airport and was attempting to land on the St. Johns River and flipped over.
"One of our guests was having dinner and looked over and actually saw the plane crash. He ran into the kitchen because no one was in the dining room at the time, yelling that we should call 911," said Joseph Doty, General Manager of Blue Water Bay, a restaurant next to the Crystal Cove Marina.
Doty said he and the owner of the marina, along with another, all went out to help the passengers.
"You're trying to get out there as fast as you can, you feel helpless at that point. We were hoping that nothing was wrong but we all unloaded are pockets, took off our shoes and were ready to jump in and to help them," said Doty.
Doty said the pilot and passenger were on the pontoon part of the plane. Officials believe the plane is sitting on the floor of the
river. The Putnam County Sheriff's Office attached chemical lights -- basically glow in the dark lights -- to the craft to avoid a safety hazard for other vessels on the water overnight.
The plane is expected to be removed Wednesday. Doty said it's not unusual for a seaplane to land on the river and taxi into the marina, but he is glad he and the others could assist in this rare but frightening incident.
"You do what you can, you know the human side you want to get out there and do what you can, and we were all shook up," added Doty.
According to FHP, the pilot and the passenger are both from Colorado. The pilot Lindsay A. Weaver, 60, has a private pilot certification issued February 2013, according to the FAA website. Both he and the passenger were transported to the Putnam Community Hospital for minor injuries.
First Coast News