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Members of the Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service stage outside Watchaug Pond in Burlingame State Park in Charlestown after a plane crashed into the pond on Saturday evening. Courtesy Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service

CHARLESTOWN — Emergency crews helped to rescue a man and teenager from a small seaplane that crashed into Watchaug Pond at Burlingame State Park on Saturday, but the exact cause of the crash remains under investigation.

Charlestown police, volunteers with the Charlestown Fire, personnel with the Charlestown Ambulance Rescue Service, Rhode Island Department of Environmental Management Police and Rhode Island State Police responded to the park after DEM police received a call around 5 p.m. Saturday from a Charlestown resident who witnessed the crash, according to officials.

According to DEM officials, the pilot had forgotten to raise the plane's landing gear after taking off from Westerly State Airport and the gear caught the water as the plane attempted to land on the pond, causing it to flip.

The two people on board, 26-year-old pilot Bryan Hassett, of Connecticut, and the 16-year-old son of the plane owner Mark Simmons, were rescued from the water and were not injured. Simmons was not on board at the time of the crash.

The plane was not leaking fuel and officials were continuing to monitor the situation as of Sunday morning. The plane was expected to be salvaged on Sunday.

The Federal Aviation Administration is continuing investigate.

— Jason Vallee

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