ANNA MARIA ISLAND, Fla. (FOX 13) - Friends and family are praying for the recovery of a helicopter pilot who was severely injured in a crash about a mile off Anna Maria Island, Florida Wednesday morning.
According to the Manatee County Sheriff's Office, a Robinson R-44 single rotor helicopter lost control and crashed around 11 a.m.
The pilot, Stanley Lee, who is in his 60s, and two passengers, Thomas McKnight and Peter Bowden, survived the accident.
McKnight was treated and released from a local hospital, but Lee remains in critical condition, according to the sheriff's office.
"The pilot of the helicopter is a very experienced, very passionate guy," said Cole McGowan, who works closely with the crew involved in the crash.
Officials said the crew was filming a promotional video of a power boat.
McGowan is a photographer and said he was working from a helicopter just yesterday. He said he's shocked by the day's events.
"To get a phone call from the water, to hear that they were pulled out was surely a relief," McGowan said.
The FAA and NTSB are investigating the cause of the crash.
Our Marine Patrol continues to assist @USCGSoutheast Station St. Petersburg, @MyFWC & @ManateeSheriff with a helicopter crash approximately 1/2 mile offshore. 3 passengers were rescued with non-life threatening injuries. pic.twitter.com/XjxZXAR4L8— SarasotaPD (@SarasotaPD) January 2, 2019