GALVESTON, Texas (FOX 26) - Busting the surface of shallow water a mile off Galveston Isle is the fuselage of a Bell-206B helicopter.
Returning from a cargo shift inspection, the aircraft passed over Galveston State Park around 7 p.m. Monday and crashed soon after into the bay just a minute or two away from its home base in Santa Fe.
"Picking up passengers possibly from doing a survey at the time it went down. There were three passengers on the aircraft, two were rescued, one was recovered," said Sgt. Richard Standifer with the Texas Department of Public Safety.
The two survivors plucked from the bay by a private vessel and transported to UT-Medical Branch included the pilot and a passenger, their identity and condition still confidential.
A second passenger identified as 58-year-old Warren Moore of Deer Park did not survive the crash.
Republic Helicopter, which operated the 26-year-old aircraft issued a statement asking the public "to keep our crew and customers in your prayers" a sentiment echoed by first responders.
"I can tell you this, here at the Texas Department of Public Safety our hearts go out to the one who was killed in the crash," said Standifer.
Investigators from the FAA and National Transportation Safety Board are on the scene. An NTSB spokesman says they'll review air traffic control tapes, recover recording devices and interview all witnesses.
DPS says the helicopter was flying in foggy conditions which may prove to have played a role in the accident.