All nine people aboard the US Navy plane that overran the runway escaped injury, a Hawaii official said.
The Coast Guard responded, but rescue efforts were quickly called off, said Petty Officer Ryan Fisher, a spokesman for the Coast Guard. “It looks like all parties involved have recovered,” he said.
A photo taken by witness Diane Dircks showed the plane in water just offshore, reminiscent of the 2009 “Miracle on the Hudson,” when a passenger jet piloted by Chesley “Sully” Sullenberger made an emergency landing in the New York River. All 155 people on board survived.
The P-8A piloted by Sullenberger and the Airbus A320 are roughly the same size.
Dirks and his family were returning to the dock after a rainy season halted their pontoon boat trip when his daughter noticed the plane in the water.
“We ran to the end of the dock and I took some pictures,” he said.
Dirks, who is visiting from Illinois, said her daughter had a pair of binoculars to watch the birds so she could see the plane and rescue boats coming.
“It was unbelievable,” she said.
The Honolulu Fire Department called 911 shortly after 2 p.m. saying the plane had crashed, said spokesman Malcolm K. Medrano said in an email. It was cloudy and raining. Visibility was about 1 mile (1.6 kilometers), said National Weather Service meteorologist Thomas Vaughan in Honolulu.
The P-8A is often used for anti-submarine warfare, reconnaissance and intelligence gathering. It is manufactured by Boeing and shares many components with the 737 business jet.
The aircraft belonged to the Skinny Dragons of Patrol Squadron 4, stationed at Whidbey Island in Washington State. The patrols were once based in Kaneohe Bay, but are now sent to Hawaii on a rotational basis.
The Marine Corps base is about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from Honolulu on Oahu, Hawaii. The base houses about 9,300 soldiers and 5,100 family members. It is one of several major military installations on Oahu.
The site is located in Kaneohe Bay, home to coral reefs, a breeding ground for hammerhead sharks, and the University of Hawaii Marine Biological Research Institute.
Associated Press writer Jennifer Cinco Kelleher contributed to this report. Dubui reported from New York.