GILGO BEACH, N.Y. (CBS News/AP) – The son of World Wrestling Entertainment CEO Vince McMahon was rescued Wednesday from a helicopter that made an emergency landing in the ocean near a New York beach.
Shane McMahon, also a WWE executive, was the passenger in the Robinson R 44 helicopter that set down in lightly rolling waves near Long Island’s Gilgo Beach late Wednesday morning.
Neither he nor the pilot, Mario Regtien, were hurt.
The red aircraft could be seen bobbing on bright yellow pontoons, deployed by the pilot as the helicopter descended, as small boats circled about a half-mile south of the beach.
Speaking to reporters afterward, McMahon said he heard a “bang” and Regtien told him they would be doing an emergency landing in the water.
“It was very unnerving,” McMahon said. But, he added, “Mario was super calm, which made me super calm, and we landed perfectly.”
He later expressed his thanks to the pilot and emergency responders and tweeted: “I’d like to thank the man upstairs for looking out this morning.”
“We ran up and got kayaks and we paddled out, a short trip out there. Those guys actually handled it really well, the two gentlemen in the helicopter, actually really calm and collected,” lifeguard Zach Viverito told CBS New York. “We put them on the kayaks and just swam along with them until the Coast Guard met us about halfway in.”
“We were just getting to work and we saw a helicopter go down pretty hard, saw a big splash,” lifeguard Don Dobbi said. “We ran up and grabbed the kayaks and paddled out to see what was going on, we knew it was out of the ordinary.”
Shane McMahon’s mother is Linda McMahon, who heads the Small Business Administration in President Trump’s administration.
The Federal Aviation Administration said the helicopter had taken off from Westchester County Airport in White Plains, made a stop at a heliport in Manhattan, then was flying east along the Long Island coast when the incident occurred.
The pilot issued a mayday call before going into the water, and a commercial flight heading to Kennedy International Airport heard it and relayed it to FAA controllers at a radar facility.
It was not yet clear what went wrong.