He was out digging for treasures on a Florida beach. Then came the plane, video shows

Metal detecting can be dangerous business. Florida’s Joseph Cook would be the first to admit that.

The fortune hunter was out doing his thing at Anastasia State Park in St. Augustine on the morning of Nov. 14 when all of a sudden, he witnessed a small plane fly over his head and come down with a thud.

Cook documented the frightening incident on TikTok, starting with the minute he went from digging around in the sand to screaming breathlessly, “Oh my God, oh my God, y’all! Somebody just crashed!”

In the first video, Cook begins to run toward the wreck with his gadgets still in hand, the phone’s camera jiggling back and forth while he continues to scream.

As Cook gets closer to the overturned yellow plane, he yells, “Are you OK?!”

The pilot is standing on the sand, looking dazed but unfazed, while two bystanders gather around the fuselage.

Sounding panicked, Cook repeats: “Are you OK, sir?”

“Yeah!” the pilot yells back. “I lost my engine.”

In a followup video, Cook explains that the small plane was surveying damage from Hurricane Nicole and went into engine failure.

He shows his followers News Jax 4’s report on the plane accident, which he initially thought was waves crashing on the surf. In text over screen, Cook writes: “I’m so thankful I didn’t get hit.”

According to the Florida Highway Patrol, the crash happened around 11:40 a.m. Nov. 14. The pilot from Lake City was traveling from West Palm Beach to Northeast Florida Regional Airport near St. Augustine when the engine sputtered and failed.

St. Augustine police confirmed that the pilot was not injured in the “single engine plane emergency landing.” The agency includes a few more snaps of the mangled heap still in the surf. It was towed away later that evening.

While most commenters on a police department post were relieved that no one was injured or killed, many were taken aback by the surreal sight of the aircraft completely upside down.


“A day at the beach has new meaning.”

“Well, that’s not something you see every day.”

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