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British man dies as plane crashes into sea

A British man has died after crashing into the sea off a Spanish beach in his light aircraft.

The 66-year-old was killed instantly after his plane plunged into the water soon after he took off from a small airdrome in Murcia in south-east Spain called Aeroclub Totana.

The man who has been named locally only by his first name of Paul, is said to have lost control of his plane and crashed off Descargador Beach near Cala Reona close to the naval port city of Cartagena.

The fatal accident happened around 11.30am yesterday morning.

Unconfirmed local reports said the dead man had been performing acrobatic stunts before he crashed in thick fog.

Locals practising water sports including a canoeist pulled his body from the sea and a pleasure boat took it to a nearby port.

A plane from the Aeroclub similar to the one that crashed in Cabo de Palos (Picture: Solarpix) Coastguard divers and police searched the area to rule out any more victims before it was confirmed the expat was on his own in the plane.

An investigation into the tragedy is now underway pending the autopsy which is expected to take place later today.

Cartagena mayoress Ana Belen Castejon wrote on Twitter: ‘My sincere condolences to the friends and loved ones of the man who has died. ‘Sadly nothing could be done to save his life.’

Luis Martinez Escudero, one of the men who helped pull the man’s body from the sea, told a local paper:

‘We saw a body floating face down in the water five minutes after the plane came down.

‘I put the body on the longboard I was on with the help of a canoeist who also headed to the same spot.

‘We then transferred the dead man into a boat that turned up and took him to a nearby port.’

He also described weather conditions at the time as ‘extremely foggy.’

Another pilot who left the aerodrome shortly before the Brit who lost his life yesterday morning is understood to have complained about low clouds.

A spokesman for a regional government-run emergency response coordination centre said: ‘We can confirm the death of a man aged 66 who suffered a light aircraft accident in Cala Reona in the municipality of Cartagena.’

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