DESTIN, Fla. (WKRG) — Unusual sight Labor Day weekend on Crab Island. Boat traffic is expected, but a helicopter landing on a boat is unusual. But that’s exactly what happened. A black helicopter slowed and landed behind a large black vessel along the Eastern edge of the tourist hotspot on Sept. 2.
Adam Carroll with Carroll Productions gave the video to WKRG News 5. Carroll said the video was taken Friday afternoon. The video is from the shoreline near the Destin Marina.
In the video, there are law enforcement vessels. other boats and jet skis going by. The helicopter pilot lands with precision on a floating helipad towed on the back of the yacht.
No one was hurt by the impressive stunt.
Is this allowed?
A typical day at the sand bar will include a number of planes and aircraft flying overhead, staying above the FAA-regulated limit. Helicopters landing on Crab Island, however, is rare and regulations are controlled by the FAA.
The Okaloosa County Sheriff’s Office patrols Crab Island and local waters along with Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and United States Coast Guard. The law enforcement focus is responsible for boat safety, DUI and general population control, not helicopter landings.
Okaloosa County and city government are not at the reigns for Crab Island aircraft code enforcement either, as it is not a business operating on the water in need of paying taxes.
WKRG News 5 has reached out to FAA regional offices and agents in the area to speak more about the regulations for flying in or around Crab Island on a helicopter. Our efforts have not been returned.
Who owns the helicopter and boat?
WKRG News 5 is still tracking down the owner of the helicopter and boats in question. Similar long, black, low-lying vessels have been spotted in the Destin harbor. The known boats belong to Team Black Diamond, a luxury water-sport company.
Team Black Diamond has not confirmed they were the ones on Crab Island on Sept. 2.