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Westchester Native Rescued After Plane Crashes Near Block Island

Two lifeguards on a nearby private beach rescued a Somers native whose plane crash landed Saturday near Block Island.
Two lifeguards on a nearby private beach rescued a Somers native whose plane crash landed Saturday near Block Island. Photo Credit: WPRI screen grab
The plane sank at Weekapaug Point, which is highlighted in red.
The plane sank at Weekapaug Point, which is highlighted in red. Photo Credit: Google Maps

A Westchester native was rescued after the small plane he owns and was piloting crash landed about 30 yards from a crowded private beach off the Rhode Island coast on Saturday afternoon.

Somers native Andrew Piekarski, the pilot of the four-seat Beechcraft Bonanza, was brought to shore by two teenage lifeguards, one of whom was in his first shift in his first day on the job, according to Inside Edition.

The lifeguard, David Darling of Greenwich, Conn., just graduated from Deerfield Academy in Massachusetts.

The crash occurred at Weekapaug Point near Block Island.

The 62-year-old Piekarski now lives in East Moriches in Suffolk County on Long Island, where he is a psychiatrist.

A 1972 Somers High School graduate, Piekarski was captain of the basketball team and described by his coach, the late Mike DePaoli, as one of the best players he ever coached at Somers.

Piekarski made an attempt to head toward the Westerly Airport, but elected to make an emergency landing into the water to avoid people on the beach as a result of a loss in altitude, state police said.

Piekarski was taken by ambulance to Rhode Island Hospital where he was treated for minor injuries, state police said.

Several beachgoers videotaped the rescue, which occurred just before 1 p.m., and posted the videos online.

Police said an initial investigation revealed a loss of power while the plane was in flight.

You can watch the video in this report from WPRI in Providence.

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