Two Hawaiian tourists have died in a tragic Whitsundays helicopter crash, in what would have been a trip of a lifetime over the Great Barrier Reef.
Another three people survived the crash on Wednesday afternoon, including the local Australian pilot, 35, and two tourists from Colorado.
Witnesses risked their lives to pluck the three people from the wreckage of the helicopter as it sunk, including a 33-year-old woman and 34-year-old man, but were unable to save the 65-year-old woman and 79-year-old Hawaiians.
Two Hawaiian tourists died in a horrible Whitsundays helicopter crash in what would have been a trip of a life time (pictured)
Another three people survived the crash (pictured) on Wednesday afternoon, including the pilot and two tourists – a man, 34, and woman, 33, from Colorado
The crash is the second incident in four months for the helicopter company after it failed to land on the platoon (pictured) near the Whitsunday Islands
Queensland Police confirmed the deaths of the two American tourists on Thursday who died after the crash off Hardy Reef Pontoon
Queensland Police confirmed the deaths of the two American tourists on Thursday following the crash off Hardy Reef Pontoon who were known to the two survivors.
Witnesses performed CPR on the Hawaiian couple, but they could not be saved.
The crash is the second incident in four months for the helicopter company, ABC News reported.
The Whitsunday Air Services said the helicopter attempted to land on the platoon, 65km north-east of the Whitsundays Islands, but it landed in the water just metres away.
In November last year, Hamilton Island Air – a registered business of Whitsunday Air Services – was involved in a crash off Hamilton Island.
The three passengers survived but the helicopter sank and has not been recovered.
Witnesses performed CPR on the Hawaiian couple, but with emergency services more than an hour away, the victims died (pictured are police at the scene)
Onlookers tried to save the passengers at the Whitsundays crash site while listening to instructions in a phone call with paramedics just after 4pm Wednesday
Police and other emergency service vessels were en route to Hardy Reef (map pictured) with the crash site about 65km northeast of the Whitsundays
Onlookers tried to save the passengers at the Whitsundays crash site while listening to instructions in a phone call with paramedics just after 4pm Wednesday.
The older couple were pronounced dead at the scene after they were recovered from the helicopter.
The three survivors were transported by sea for medical attention and treated for non-life threatening injuries.
The helicopter reportedly crashed into the water 250 metres from the Hardy Reef pontoon.
Whitsunday Air Services confirmed the fatalities in a statement on Wednesday night.
‘Whitsunday Air Services can confirm that a tragic accident involving a Whitsunday Air Services helicopter carrying four passengers and one crew member has occurred at Hardy Reef today,’ the statement said.
In November last year, the Hamilton Island Air – a registered business of Whitsunday Air Services – was involved in a crash off Hamilton Island (stock image)
‘The accident occurred while the helicopter was on final approach for a landing at it’s Hardy Reef Heliport and resulted in two fatalities and two passengers sustaining minor injuries.
‘We are extremely saddened by this incident and our deepest condolences are with the families of all of the passengers. Whitsunday Air Services is continuing to work with the Queensland Police, the ATSB and CASA to assist with their investigations.
‘Whitsunday Air Services will be suspending all operations while a full review process is undertaken. Further information will be released in due course.’
The helicopter was reportedly fully submerged in water.
Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics rushed to the scene via emergency helicopter about 6pm.
The Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) told Daily Mail Australia a team of investigators would travel to the accident location to collect evidence on Thursday morning.
Investigators will interview witnesses, examine available recorded data, review operational records and technical documentation.
Investigators will interview witnesses, examine available recorded data, review operational records and technical documentation