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Paddleboarder rescues game warden pilot after plane crashes into Texas lake

The pilot was doing a test flight after routine maintenance when the crash unfolded on Lady Bird Lake, officials said.
The pilot was helped by someone nearby who came to his rescue on a paddleboard.
The pilot was helped by someone nearby who came to his rescue on a paddleboard.Austin-Travis County EMS / Twitter

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

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

The pilot had reported having issues, but did not manage to make it to the nearby Austin-Bergstrom International Airport to land safely.

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

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

Chandler said the plane, a 2009 Cessna T-206, had come down with no injuries to bystanders.

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

Chandler confirmed the pilot had been taken to a hospital to get checked out.

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