Chopper Crashes and Three Survive Without Injury

Three men on a photography shoot for a boat company got wet Tuesday night when their helicopter crashed into Deerpoint Lake.

The pilot was Dan Baker of Pensacola.

"We were flying about 50 feet above the water when, I suspect, the engine just quit is what it felt like to me."

Baker and two passengers were shooting photos for a Mercury Marine ad. They were flying the Pensacola-based Heliworks chopper low over the water when the engine died.

Baker says the men kept cool when he told them to buckle up. The helicopter crashed into the lake upside down.

Bay County Sheriff's Sgt. James Vestal lives nearby. He was on the scene in moments, diving into the water looking for the men.

"So I went into the water and started towards the aircraft and at that point I saw the second person come out and then when I got to it the third one was out. They told me everybody was out, everybody was fine, but there was still a fuel sheen on the water, so we needed to get everybody away from there."

The three men were able to get out of the submerged upside down helicopter on their own and swim to shore. Paramedics checked them out on the scene, and then sent them on their way.

The crash is still under investigation. There’s no word on when the chopper will be pulled out of the lake.


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