A California man booked a helicopter tour for Tuesday afternoon, but while riding he jumped from the chopper into the ocean and later died at the hospital as a result of his injuries.
Gregory McFadden reportedly leapt from a helicopter into the ocean near Newport Beach, Calif., and died as a result of his injuries. Authorities are investigating the case as a possible suicide. (Image source: DMV via KTLA-TV)
Gregory McFadden booked the 30-minute tour with Cardinal Air Services for two people, but only he showed up. In what is being investigated as a possible suicide, McFadden jumped from the private helicopter near Balboa Pier, prompting a search for his body.
The Huntington Beach Police Department used its helicopter to direct Newport Beach lifeguards and Orange County Sheriff’s Department Harbor Patrol to the McFadden's body. He was recovered and brought to the hospital in critical condition, later dying from injuries sustained in the fall.
McFadden's brother, who was not named, told KTLA-TV the 61-year-old had a medical condition and, despite being on Social Security and disability, he couldn't pay for treatment. The condition was a rare disorder involving his esophagus, which made him unable to keep food down.
Here's more about the situation from KTLA with witness accounts:
Lifeguard Josh Van Egmund told KTLA a 500-foot drop into water would feel like falling onto cement.
Rescue teams brought McFadden's unconscious body out of the water, but he later died at the hospital. (Image source: KTLA-TV video screenshot)
"It would not be feeling like water," Egmund said.
Chuck Street, who owns Cardinal Air Services, told The Los Angeles Times his son, Corbin, was flying the helicopter when the incident occurred. Street said he believes his son tried to stop McFadden from jumping.
(H/T: Daily Mail)