Video has emerged of a plane crashing into the sea off a Californian beach… right in front of a competition for 600 lifeguards.
The light aircraft dived into the water, ending up perpendicular with its nose in the surf, before settling down the right way up.
The impact happened on a stretch of beach where around 600 junior guards were showing off their skills.
Incredibly, the plane hit the sea between competition rounds so no one was in the water at the time.
Footage showed a uniformed lifesaver in distinctive red shorts dashing into the water with a rescue board.
Two junior lifeguards Jake Shaffer and Aidan – who did not give a last name – rushed into the sea.
Speaking to NBC News, Aidan said: “Jake goes, ‘OK, run!’ So I start running towards the waterline where the plane is and he grabs a board.”
Mr Shaffer described the pilot as a young man wearing a flannel shirt.
The lifeguard said: “When he got on my board, he had a small cut on his head.
“I kept asking him, ‘hello, sir? Are you OK?’
“We were just going over these things in captain’s about trying to learn information about the person. What could have happened. He didn’t want to talk. He was sitting there frozen on the board.”
Seniors told the youngsters to stay on the shore while professionals raced to the scene of the crash – around 27 metres from the shore.
Corinne Baginski, whose 17-year-old daughter was competing, confirmed that the plane – which looked to be a Piper Cub – did not crash while people were swimming.
The pilot appeared to get out of the aircraft on his own, and was later seen in the back of a lifeguard vehicle, and was taken to hospital with bumps and bruises according to a spokesperson for Huntington Beach in Los Angeles.
The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.