2 rescued after small plane crashes into Gulf south of Naples Pier

Published: December 19, 2020 1:19 PM EST
Updated: December 21, 2020 10:05 AM EST

A small plane crashed into the water south of the Naples Pier, and north of Gordon’s Pass, Saturday afternoon.

The plane went into the water about 1,000 yards offshore, according to Naples Police. The site is west of the 2100 block of Gordon Drive.

Naples Fire said two occupants of the plane were rescued and suffered minor injuries. Fire-Rescue transported them from the crash site to Bay Road for transport by Collier County EMS.

Those out on the beach Saturday say they while they see planes take off all the time, they never expected one to crash in front of them.

Carin Von Ins was near the Naples Pier when it happened. “All the sudden, we heard kind of a loud noise. It sounded like a boat hitting waves, kind of a boom, and we quickly looked out into the ocean and saw that the plane we had seen coming in had gone down.”

Von Ins and her husband Jim were just two of the people who sat anxiously watching as the plane sank into the water. Everyone was wondering what would happen to the two people on board.

“It was floating on the water for several minutes,” Jim said.

Boater Chris Sereno saw the people treading water so he helped them get onto his boat until law enforcement arrived.

“I didn’t believe it at first, you know, a plane really crashed and you hear about it but when it’s in front of you and you don’t expect it, especially boating,” Sereno said.

He called it a wild situation to be in. “It was kind of crazy. I wasn’t ready for anything like that.”

But Sereno had to help. “Looked like there was some sort of distress and I pulled up to a sinking plane with two people in the water looking for help.”

“You’re not thinking about helping somebody. But you just take over and you do it,” he said.

Sereno said he’s grateful he was at the right place at the right time to help.

Investigators have yet to say what caused the crash.