OCEAN CITY — Joan Samonisky was walking on the beach about 8:30 a.m. Saturday when she heard the plane coming behind her.

“He was probably three or four blocks away at the time, and very low, so I moved out the way because I saw him coming down and it was obvious he was going to go ahead and land,” Samonisky said.

A single-engine Cessna made an emergency landing about 8:35 a.m. on the beach at 49th Street. The pilot — the plane’s sole occupant — was not injured, and the beach was nearly empty at the time, Sgt. Pat Randles said in a news release. The plane sustained minor damage.

The name of the pilot has not been released, and the man, who was at the scene, declined to comment. The Federal Aviation Administration, which would release the identity of the pilot, has not returned requests for comment.

Samonisky, of Newark, Delaware, said the pilot was out of the plane by the time she and another man reached it. She said the pilot told her he lost power, so he had to land. This could not be confirmed with police.

“There was nobody out here,” Samonisky said. “Then of course a lot of people showed up after that.”

Shore homeowner Dana Rounsaville, of Basking Ridge, Somerset County, was one of several onlookers who came down to the beach after hearing about the plane.

“The good thing is it happened in the morning,” Rounsaville said. “Last Saturday or Sunday, these beaches were packed. ... A nicer day, you don’t know what would have happened.”

Police stood by the plane throughout the morning, awaiting investigators from the FAA and creating a barricade from curious beachgoers.

Tow company Busted Knuckle, of Marmora in Upper Township, towed the plane from the beach once the FAA cleared the scene.

Contact: 609-272-7251 CLowe@pressofac.com Twitter @clairelowe

Staff Writer

I began covering South Jersey in 2008 after graduating from Rowan University with a degree in journalism. I joined The Press in 2015. In 2013, I was awarded a NJPA award for feature writing as a reporter for The Current of Hamilton Township.

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