Video shows helicopter crash off Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro


People look from the coast as a firefighter ship looks for a fallen helicoper in Copacabana beach, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil on December 29, 2012. A firefighter helicopter fell on the sea as it rescued a bather. The man and the three crew members survived.



Dramatic video shows the moment a helicopter crashed into the surf at Copacabana beach in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, while trying to rescue a swimmer in distress.

The video was taken from the beach by a Brazilian tourist who was among hundreds of terrified onlookers to witness the helicopter crash, the BBC reported.

"The crew were saving the lives of people who recklessly swam into the waves," an eyewitness told the BBC. "The sea has been raging yesterday and today." 

Local surfers and swimmers helped to rescue the four crew members and struggling swimmer. All made it back to shore safely, the Telegraph reported.

The rescue helicopter had reportedly suffered engine failure.