By Mari-Ela David
HAWAII KAI (KHNL) - The plane they were in crashed Friday in waters off East Honolulu. Amazingly, the two people aboard not only survived, they left the scene unharmed after a dramatic rescue.
The small plane went down just as KHNL News 8 were about to begin our newscast at 6:00 PM. Coast Guard crews and the Honolulu Fire Department rushed to the scene.
As of Friday night, the plane is still under water. The Coast Guard has been out looking for the wreckage.
A scenic plane ride in Hawaii's skies takes a dangerous turn for a husband and wife.
"It didn't seem like it was real," said Christian Williams, who witnessed the crash. "It just happened so fast."
The single-engine Cessna the couple was in crashed into the waters about a mile southeast of China Walls near Koko Head.
"I just see the plane right when it hit the water," said Williams. "The explosion, I mean the water was pretty big and right after that the life vessel came out."
The couple was on that life raft by the time search and rescue teams arrived. Chopper 8 caught video of the dramatic rescue.
Air One lifted the 31-year-old woman in a basket. A rescue boat took the 29-year-old man. The Honolulu Fire Department says both were back on shore within 40 minutes.
"They have no apparent injuries and they were able to get out and get into the raft and get rescued fairly quickly. So I'd say they're pretty lucky," said Captain Paul Stankiewicz of the the Honolulu Fire Department.
Lucky, thanks to a few witnesses.
"This guy that was cruising at the beach made the call as a surfer came up and said that he watched the plane crash and to notify police and coast guards," said witness Kalani Powell.
Paramedics checked the couple on scene, but did not need to take them to the hospital. They say both were shaken, but thankful they escaped the crash unharmed.
The plane is registered to George's Aviation Services. A spokesperson says the couple isn't from here and that they rented the plane to go sight seeing when they ran out of fuel.