A paddleboarder managed to save a game ranger pilot on Thursday after the small plane he was in crashed into Lady Bird Lake in Austin, Texas, officials said.

The pilot was on a test flight after routine maintenance, Cory Chandler, assistant director of communications for the Texas Department of Parks and Wildlife, said at a news conference Thursday.

The pilot had reported encountering trouble, but had been unable to make it to nearby Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to land safely.

Instead, Austin-Travis County EMS said in a tweet that the plane crashed at Lady Bird Lake. The pilot, the sole occupant of the plane, was taken to hospital with “potentially serious injuries”, according to the tweet.

In a video shared by the EMS service, the plane could be seen submerged in water.

Chandler said the plane, a 2009 Cessna T-206, went down without injuring bystanders.

He said the pilot managed to get out of the plane on his own but was helped by someone nearby who came to his aid on a paddleboard and helped bring him back to shore .

Chandler confirmed the pilot was taken to hospital for examination.

He said officials were working on a plan to extract the plane from the lake.


Gemma Di Casimirro contributed.

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