After pilot lands plane off Rancho Palos Verdes, he and his dog swim to shore

A man and his dog paddled safely to shore Sunday afternoon after the pilot's small plane ended up in the ocean off Rancho Palos Verdes, according to law enforcement.

Sgt. Jeffrey Velasco with the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department said a call came in around 5:20 p.m. of a plane crashing into the ocean not far from Trump National Golf Club Los Angeles. The aircraft crashed about 150 to 200 yards from the shore and a bystander called 911, Velasco said.

The department posted on X that it sent an air rescue team for the small plane. Responding deputies said the pilot was unharmed. The plane was a single-engine Piper PA-32 Cherokee Six, according to the Federal Aviation Administration, and the incident is under investigation.

The plane sank, according to Craig Little with the Los Angeles County Fire Department, and divers with the department went out into the water to flag its location, but there was no attempt to salvage the plane, which the FAA said was manufactured in 1981.

The circumstances surrounding the incident were unclear Monday morning, but the FAA categorized the crash as an accident due to engine issues. The pilot was flying from Santa Monica to Long Beach when the engine failure occurred, according to the sheriff's office.

Edward Wargo, a U.S. Coast Guard spokesperson, said there was one person on board along with their dog.

"Both were able to safely swim," he said.

The pilot was uninjured, according to Little, and was able to walk away from the incident with his dog. The plane is registered to Christopher Risso, according to the FAA. City News Service, citing sheriff's department officials, identified the pilot as Christopher Krajacic. When reached by phone, Krajacic declined to comment for The Times.

Wargo said the Coast Guard will now focus on ensuring there's no environmental damage from the plane's fuel.

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This story originally appeared in Los Angeles Times.