Lonely Planet Writer

Bystanders rescue passengers in Pearl Harbor helicopter crash

When a private helicopter with five people on board suddenly lost altitude near Pearl Harbor, visitor Shawn Winrich turned his camera to the sky just in time to catch the helicopter crashing into the water.

Pearl Harbor, Oahu.
Pearl Harbor, Oahu. Image by Michele Meyer / CC BY 2.0

According to reports, Winrich then jumped into the water to provide assistance. A nearby tour guide named Chris Gardner also jumped in to help. Four of the passengers made it out of the sinking helicopter, but one, a 16-year-old boy, was trapped in the back by his seatbelt. The rescuers were able to free the boy with a knife, but he had to be rushed to the hospital where he remains in critical condition.

According to reports, the helicopter belonged to a company that conducts air tours over Oahu. After the crash, the National Park Service suspended all operations at the Pearl Harbor visitor center, including visits to the USS Arizona Memorial. Read more: nytimes.com

Watch the video here