Miami-Dade County

Small plane ditches in ocean off South Florida coast

A pilot ditched his small plane in the Atlantic on Sunday afternoon and was rescued in the water.

The pilot of the Cessna C172 was forced to make an emergency landing nine miles southeast of Hollywood at about 3:30 p.m., according to the Federal Aviation Administration. The aircraft, which had engine problems, took off from North Perry Airport in Pembroke Pines and was heading to Bimini, the FAA said in a statement.

The pilot “somehow got out of the plane and into the water,” said Petty Officer Mark Barney, a Coast Guard spokesman.

There are no reported injuries, and no reports of passengers. The FAA is investigating the crash.

The Coast Guard sent two small-boat crews and a cutter ship to the scene. Miami-Dade sent a helicopter.

“Our aviation unit heard the distress call on the radio and immediately responded to the area,” said Miami-Dade police spokesman Alvaro Zabaleta. “The police helicopter hovered on top of the area until marine units arrived.”

The pilot was brought back to Haulover Beach, about 14 miles from the crash site, by a Miami-Dade rescue boat.

The man didn’t appear to have a scratch as he walked toward a waiting BMW before riding away.