(WBEN/AP) New York authorities say a helicopter carrying four Swedish tourists has landed in the Hudson River off Manhattan, but everyone has been rescued thanks to the efforts of a pilot from Buffalo.
Channel Two News says the pilot was Mike Campbell (pictured R) a Buffalo native who graduated from Hutch Tech.
The New York Daily News says Campbell, 22, trained in Hamburg then went to Titusville, Fla., for more training.
His uncle tells the TV station that Campbell heard a loud boom and suddenly saw his instruments go haywire then the chopper started to descend as it lost power.
The incident happened shortly before noon Sunday in the section of the river near 79th Street. The pilot and four passengers were taken to shore.
Deputy Fire Chief Thomas McKavanaugh said the helicopter had taken off from the Wall Street Heliport and lost power after 12 minutes in the air. The pilot used the craft's pontoons, and it remained upright as it landed.
"The pilot did a terrific job considering he'd lost his engine power," McKavanaugh said.
Sebastien Berthelet, visiting from Montreal, was on a boat when the craft went down and went over to help, bringing the pilot back to shore.
"At the beginning, we thought maybe it was an exercise," he said, but then "when he hit the water, it was hard."
He said he complimented the pilot on the landing, but the pilot said it could have been smoother.
"I said, `Well, it could have been worse, too,'" Berthelet said
The fire department says the passengers were two adults and two children from Sweden.
Eyewitness William Parra tells the New York Post he was having brunch nearby when he saw the helicopter.
He says: "Ten feet above the water, and it just went down. There was a huge splash."
The passengers were two adults and two children from Sweden, he said. No one was injured, but the tourists were taken to the hospital for observation, authorities said.
"They all seemed very healthy. They were all shocked, of course," Berthelet said.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter, a Bell 206, is registered to New York Helicopter, which offers sightseeing tours ranging from $139 per person for a 15-minute flight to $295 per person for a 25-minute flight. A call to the company went unanswered.
The FAA and the National Transportation Safety Board are investigating.
The emergency landing on the Hudson River was reminiscent of another one where all aboard escaped unharmed. In 2009, Capt. Chesley "Sully" Sullenberger III safely landed a US Airways flight after striking a flock of geese. All 155 people aboard survived.
But other aviation incidents over the waterways surrounding Manhattan have been deadly.
In 2011, a helicopter crashed into the East River. Two passengers were killed at the scene, and a third died a month later.
In 2009, a collision between a tour helicopter and a small plane over the Hudson River killed nine people.