A U.S. Marine helicopter made an emergency landing on a beach in north San Diego Wednesday after receiving a low oil pressure indicator, U.S. Marine Corps officials confirmed.
San Diego lifeguards reported that a CH-53E Super Stallion helicopter had landed near Del Mar Shores Beach in Solana Beach, south of Fletcher Cove, at around 11:40 a.m.
Firefighters and Hazardous Materials crews were called to the scene to investigate the chopper for a possible fuel leak.
The large chopper could be seen disabled on the shoreline as officials and onlookers gathered.
Officials from the 3rd Marine Aircraft Wing (MAW) tweeted that the chopper made the unexpected landing on the beach “due to a low-pressure indicator light in the aircraft.”
Marine Corps Air Station Miramar (MCAS Miramar) also confirmed that the CH-53E Super Stallion with Marine Heavy Helicopter Squadron (HMH) 466 had executed the precautionary landing in Solana Beach.
“The aircraft was conducting routine training and the pilots landed the aircraft safely on Solana Beach with no injuries to personnel,” MCAS Miramar officials said.
“A Hazardous Material Team has been dispatched to clean up and assess the site.”
Marine Corps officials said the aircraft would likely return to MCAS Miramar Wednesday afternoon.
Staff Sgt. Bobbie Curtis said the CH-53E is a “heavy-lift helicopter that has a large set of mission capabilities.”
“It can go from ship to shore, help us with all of our amphibious missions,” he added.
Curtis said the crew aboard the aircraft handled the landing well.
“These pilots are well-trained – so are the air crew members – so they know exactly what to do in a situation like this,” he said.
Encinitas Fire Department Battalion Chief John Blumeyer said the department was tipped off to the beachside chopper landing by several 911 calls and reports from lifeguards.
When firefighters arrived, they noticed the aircraft was leaking fluid, Blumeyer said. Crews quickly worked to clean up the fluid and prevent it from leaking into the ocean.