Teen Kayakers Aid Downed Flyers

  (Photo: ANDREW FORD/FLORIDA TODAY)

(Photo: ANDREW FORD/FLORIDA TODAY)

Two men aboard an ultra-light airplane on Friday were uninjured after their craft crashed into the Indian River between Rockledge and Merritt Island, authorities said.

Taylor Watkins, 15, was kayaking with 15-year-old Griffin Kindred in the Indian River Lagoon near Waterside Drive on Merritt Island when he saw the plane crash. He said it came in low and dipped, the engine cut off, it hit the water once, came up, hit the water again and flipped forward.

It landed upside down with its wheels out of the water.

At first, the teens said they thought it was a large remote-controlled toy that had crashed, but they got closer and saw people. They paddled over to help. Two men were in the water, one swam to a nearby island, the other grabbed onto a kayak and the boys helped him to shore.

"To be honest, I wasn't shocked. It seemed like it wasn't real. There couldn't have been anybody in there. It seemed so unlikely to happen," Watkins said.

Brevard County Sheriff's Office spokeswoman Deputy Maria Fernez had limited information on the incident, but said they got a call for a plane in the Indian River near Pine Island at about 4 p.m. She described it as a small, homemade aircraft.