Boaters rescue 2 after plane crash at Lake Jocassee

SALEM, S.C. (AP) — Two people have been rescued after the small float plane they were in crashed into a South Carolina lake.

A man and woman were not hurt following Wednesday's accident on Lake Jocassee, Oconee County Emergency Services Deputy Chief David Owens said. They were helped from the wreckage by people who were boating nearby, he said.

The crash happened just before 1 p.m. near the Jocassee Dam where the water is about 600 feet (183 meters) deep, said state Department of Natural Resources Capt. Robert McCullough,

Crews worked through the night to move the plane toward shore before it would be pulled from the water, county Emergency Services Director Scott Krein said.

“We were able to get there quick enough, so it never sank,” he said.

Krein told multiple news outlets that the plane was practicing water landings and takeoffs on the lake, news outlets reported. He said the plane purposefully planned to land on the lake, but the landing and flotation devices malfunctioned and caused the plane to crash.

McCullough said Wednesday it was too early to say if there was a fuel leak or damage to wildlife.

Both people aboard the plane are seasoned pilots from Pickens, Krein said. Their names were not released.

The Federal Aviation Administration is investigating the crash.

Lake Jocassee is in South Carolina, near the borders of North Carolina and Georgia.