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AUSTIN, Texas – A pilot was rescued by paddleboarders after his small plane crashed into a Texas lake on Thursday, authorities said.

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According to the Austin Police Department, the pilot, a Texas Parks and Wildlife Department game warden, was on a test flight when the plane crashed into Lady Bird Lake near downtown Austin, KXAN-TV reported. The pilot was taken to an area hospital with potentially serious injuries, according to the television station.

The Austin-Travis County EMS said the crash happened west of the Interstate 35 bridge at about 2:02 p.m. CDT, KEYE-TV reported.

Nicholas Compton said he was one of the paddleboarders who rushed toward the pilot, according to KXAN.

“I was expecting to see something much worse than a man still alive floating so I was very relieved to see that he was still conscious and everything,” Compton told the television station. “So, it wasn’t much thinking except just getting him to the shore to medical services.”

Compton, who works for Austin Paddle Shack, a kayak and paddleboard rental business, said he was alerted to the pilot’s distress when other paddleboarders began yelling.

“About 80 yards from the paddleshack I saw the plane,” Compton told KTBC-TV. “There was a lady out there, (the pilot) was hanging on to her paddleboard and … so I immediately put the life jacket on him. He was pretty incoherent, I think there was smoke inhalation going on from the plane.”

The plane was a 2009 Cessna T206 and took off from the Texas Department of Transportation terminal at Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, officials told KXAN. The Federal Aviation Administration said it would release information regarding the crash on its incident reporting website, according to the television station. The National Transportation Safety Board is in charge of the investigation, the FAA said.