UPDATE: as of 6 p.m., State Police said efforts at the site of the small plane crash were considered a recovery, not a rescue, operation. For the latest, click here.

CAPE MAY — A small plane crashed into the ocean on Wednesday morning, prompting a rescue operation by the Coast Guard.

An individual notified the Coast Guard at 11:23 a.m. they had witnessed a small, single-engine plane go into the Atlantic on the bay side of Cape May Point and become submerged, Petty Officer Andy Kendrick told New Jersey 101.5.

Cape May Fire Dept. assists with rescue after plane crashed into the ocean
Cape May Fire Dept. assists with rescue after plane crashed into the ocean (John Cooke via Twitter @CookeCapeMay)

Video tweeted by CBS Philly showed the plane flying long along the beach before hitting the water.

The Federal Aviation Administration said one person was on board the Mooney M20J aircraft that crashed in the water approximately 1,200 feet from the Cape May Lighthouse. The aircraft departed Trenton-Robbinsville Airport in Robbinsville about 8 a.m, according to the FAA.

Lisa Campbell is the owner of the plane and operates Air-Mods Flight Training Center at the Trenton-Robbinsville airport. She said the pilot, a man, was a recreational flier

Two boats and a helicopter were dispatched by the USCG, and lifeguards swam out to the plane, according to Kendrick. Cape May Fire and Rescue was also dispatched.

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report

Contact reporter Dan Alexander at Dan.Alexander@townsquaremedia.com or via Twitter @DanAlexanderNJ

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