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PLANE FROM PINELLAS AVOIDS CRASHING INTO BEACHGOERS

It was just another afternoon on the beach in North Naples on Wednesday until a small plane zoomed past sunbathers, hit the water nose first and flipped over into the surf, the Naples Daily News reports.

"Everybody jumped and ran to see if the pilot was okay, but the pilot was out and the passenger was out as well,'' said Anne Lonergan, who was vacationing from Ireland.

The pilot, lawyer Douglas Barnard, 43, of Largo, and passenger Bruce Joseph, 48, an aviation consultant from South Pasadena, had left St. Petersburg for a meeting in Naples when the plane lost power.

"It was the most dramatic thing that happened on vacation,'' Lonergan said.

No one was hurt, and witnesses praised Barnard's skill in avoiding beachgoers.

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