Witness Captured Video On His Phone And Posted It To YouTube
A rescue helicopter attempting to save a swimmer who had ventured out into rough water off Copacabana Beach in Rio do Janeiro December 29th suffered an unspecified "mechanical difficulty" and wound up going down in the water. All on board the aircraft, as well as the swimmer they were attempting to save, survived the incident.
In the video, the helo can be seen flying over the water at a low altitude with a person poised in the open main door. As the aircraft nears the area where the swimmer is in difficulty, it appear to pitch up slightly. The aircraft then settles into the water in what appears to be a textbook autorotation and is pulled under by the rough surf.
Other aircraft are quickly dispatched to the scene, and the beachgoers give a round of applause as the crew from the original aircraft and the swimmer come ashore.
The BBC reports that there were warning signs up on the beach cautioning swimmers against venturing out into the rough surf. An eyewitness said "the sea has been raging yesterday and today."