911 caller describes flying boat crash
A flying boat was hundreds, maybe thousands of feet above the ocean before it pitched and plummeted into the water between Dewees Island and the Isle of Palms, a witness told 911 dispatchers on Wednesday.
“He fell from straight out of the sky,” the caller said.
Lucas Smith, 40, and Cara Lee “Carly” Donohue, both of Mount Pleasant, died in the 6:19 p.m. crash but the female caller held out hope as she told the dispatcher what she saw.
“It fell from hundreds of feet, thousands of feet and then it exploded,” she said. “He was way, way up in the sky like almost an airplane that’s flying over carrying a banner. Almost that height.”
The woman described the aircraft as a rubber boat with an engine and a hanglider attached to it. She and other beachgoers on Dewees Island had wondered how it could fly in the windy conditions.
“Then it started pitching: Straight nose up. Straight nose down. Straight nose up. And you could tell he was struggling to control it and then he just crashed directly into the ocean and there was an explosion,” the caller said.
Minutes into the call, the caller says a fishing boat arrived on scene and pulled a person into it. The boat remained at the site as rescuers arrived. There was no mention of the second person when the 16-minute call ended.