A helicopter belonging to the air and marine unit of U.S. Customs and Border Protection made a forced landing Thursday evening on the beach near the San Onofre nuclear power plant in northern San Diego County, resulting in injuries to the three crew members.
The aircraft experienced an emergency while on a routine patrol mission between Long Beach Airport and Brown Field in San Diego, said Vincent Bond, the agency's public information officer. The three crew members were being treated at hospitals for non-life threatening injuries, he said.
Federal Aviation Administration spokesman Ian Gregor said preliminary reports from the scene indicated that all three exited the chopper on their own.
The helicopter went down shortly before 8 p.m. and was in shallow water, Gregor said. The cause of the emergency landing was not clear, and the National Transportation Safety Board is investigating.