Miami Beach

‘We Could Have Been Easily Hit': Helicopter Crashes Into Water Off Miami Beach

The helicopter crashed into the ocean near 10th Street and Ocean Drive

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A helicopter crashed into the ocean just off Miami Beach Saturday near one of the city's most popular tourist destinations.

Video shows the helicopter crashing into the water near swimmers and numerous people on the beach.

The Robinson R44 helicopter came down in the water near 10th Street and Ocean Drive at about 1 p.m.

The Robinson R44 helicopter came down in the water near 10th Street and Ocean Drive at about 1 p.m. NBC 6's Kim Wynne has the latest details.

"As soon as I turned around, the helicopter just came down like 'doom, doom, doom, doom' and smacked and hit the water," said beachgoer Rico Jiménez.

Two passengers were taken to Ryder Trauma Center at Jackson Memorial Hospital with broken backs but are expected to make full recoveries. The pilot was not seriously injured.

According to Miami Beach Fire Rescue Chief Linares, all three survivors are in stable condition and they called the incident a "control crash."

Beachgoers say that with so many people out on the beach for the holiday weekend, things could have been far worse.

"We could have been easily hit by it like the damage of that," tourist Kaela Berger said. "We saw like a bunch of cops and we saw them driving down from here all the way down to where they are now."

The Miami Beach Fire Department said that “if this crash had happened 50 yards more inland, we would have had a mass casualty event on our hands” and that it's “incredible, insane” that no one in the water was injured.

"It's a mixture of fortune as well as ability and aptitude. So if you chalk the whole thing up to luck, I think you're missing the more important point here: the value of training," said flight instructor Nelson Brandt.

The pilot in this incident executed a perfect example of an autorotation landing, a maneuver that's done when the engine fails, Brandt said.

Video posted on Twitter by the Miami Beach Police Department shows the moment the helicopter came down.

The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board will investigate the accident.

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