NARRAGANSETT, R.I. (WPRI) — A pilot was not hurt Monday morning after his single-engine propeller plane went down off the coast of Narragansett.
The plane hit the water at about just before 1 p.m. near the Bonnet Shores Beach Club, the town’s Emergency Management Agency said.
According to the Coast Guard, the pilot was recovered from the water by a good Samaritan on a recreational boat nearby.
The Coast Guard responded to ensure the pilot was safe and evaluate the crash site. Members of the Narragansett Police Department, Rhode Island State Police, Department of Environmental Management, and Rhode Island Airport Corporation were also called to the scene.
Nick Mongeau, a lifeguard at Kelly Beach, said he raced into the water as soon as he could.
“Definitely one of the most intense days I’ve seen so far,” he recalled. “I saw the plane crash about a mile and a half, two miles off shore, so I went out with the board, made it about halfway there. A fishing boat was nice enough to pick me up and bring me the rest of the way.”
State police identified the pilot as 26-year-old Jeremiah R. Coholan of North Dartmouth. He declined medical treatment after he was brought to shore, having received only a minor scratch in the crash.
Coholan flew out of Westerly Airport to fly along the coastline with an AT&T banner, according to police. Their initial investigation indicated he lost power in mid-air.
“As he made the bend to come back over the bay his engine cut out, and as a former pilot, I knew the sign he was carrying was going to drag the plane down into the water,” said homeowner Stephen Lang. “We were out on the lawn and my daughter called 911.”
Once the plane is recovered, it will be looked at by the state’s aeronautics inspector, the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), and the National Transportation Safety Board (NTSB).