Three people who survived a horror helicopter crash in Whitsundays were dragged to safety by heroic onlookers.
Witnesses risked their own lives to pluck the pilot and two passengers from the ocean as the helicopter plunged under water.
They also pulled two others from the wreckage and performed CPR on them, but with emergency services more than an hour away, the victims, who have been identified as international tourists, sadly died.
Three people who survived a horror helicopter crash in Whitsundays were dragged to safety by heroic onlookers (pictured are police at the scene)
Witnesses risked their own lives to pluck the pilot and two passengers from the ocean as the helicopter plunged under water (pictured are police at the scene)
Police and other emergency service vessels are en route to Hardy Reef (map pictured) with the crash site about 65km northeast of the Whitsundays
According to The Courier, the onlookers tried to save their lives while listening to instructions in a phone call with paramedics.
Five people were aboard the Eurocopter 120 when it went down near Hardy Reef pontoon at about 4.10pm on Wednesday, the Civil Aviation Safety Authority confirmed.
Two tourists, a man and woman, were pronounced dead at the scene after they were recovered from the helicopter.
Three others on board the helicopter, including a male pilot and male and female passengers were also from overseas.
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.
Police and other emergency service vessels were called to Hardy Reef, about 65km northeast of the Whitsundays.
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.
Two people are dead after a helicopter crashed near the Whitsundays (pictured) on Wednesday
‘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.’
Queensland Ambulance Service paramedics rushed to the Whitsundays (stock) crash site via emergency helicopter about 6pm
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.