- Associated Press - Saturday, June 18, 2016

WESTERLY, R.I. (AP) - Authorities say the pilot of a single engine airplane escaped serious injury when he crash landed in the waters off Westerly to avoid people on the beach.

Rhode Island State Police say 62-year-old Alexander Piekarski of East Moriches, New York, was flying alone from New York’s Long Island to Taunton, Massachusetts, when his four-seat Beech Craft Bonanza began losing power. It happened shortly before 1 p.m. Saturday.

Piekarski tried heading to Westerly Airport but made an emergency landing in the waters off Inn Beach when he started losing altitude.

State police say he got out of the plane before it sank and was helped back to shore by two lifeguards. He was taken to a hospital and treated for non-life-threatening injuries.

Federal aviation and transportation authorities are investigating.

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