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Two rescued from helicopter crash at Oak Island

OAK ISLAND, NC (WWAY) — The US Coast Guard says two people have been rescued after a helicopter crashed off Oak Island. It happened near the Yaupon Pier after 4:30 p.m.

Petty Officer Brandyn Hill says good samaritans rescued the two people in the helicopter, who were then taken to shore to be checked by EMS.

June Stephens saw the helicopter crash from the pier.

“It was just circling around, and then it went down,” Stephens said.

Ed Crump, a reporter from our sister station in Raleigh WTVD, was on vacation at Caswell Beach and saw the crash.

“I remarked about it going by, and then I said, ‘Oh, it looks like he’s gonna land,’ but he went down way too hard, and the thing went under water, flipped over,” Crump said. “I got the binoculars the neighbors had and watched it. It appeared two people were taken out of the helicopter by nearby boats, or at least pulled out of the water, and the rescue people we’ve seen go out came back for a backboard, but didn’t bring anybody, and they also didn’t dive by the helicopter, so we’re still awaiting word on the condition and the number of people.”

Tommy Thoms, the owner of the pier, told WTVD he saw the chopper hit the water. He, too, said it was floating upside down, but two people in it got out OK.

“I thought he was gonna land. He had pontoons,” witness Warren Harrell said. “He went down pretty hard. It made a big splash.”

We have a crew on the way to the scene and will have more information as soon as it becomes available.

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