A PILOT from Cirencester had a narrow escape after the plane he was flying at Bournemouth Air Festival crashed into the sea.

Cirencester pilot Dave Barrell, along with wingwalker Kirsten Pobjoy, from Stroud, miraculously survived Saturday’s crash, off the Dorset coast, with minor injuries.

Both Dave and Kirsten work for Aerosuperbatics, the world's only wing-walking formation team, which is based in Cirencester.

The team's two-seat biplane had been taking part in the festival when it plummeted in to the water outside The Haven Hotel in Poole Harbour, near Sandbanks, on Saturday afternoon.

Crowds had gathered around the harbour and spectators had lined the shore to watch the event.

Libby Chambers, who helped to pulled to pull the pair to safety praised pilot Dave's skill, as he managed to miss the rocks, the marker and the boats.

She said: "The pilot was incredible, he deserves a medal - I have no idea how he missed the rocks, the marker and the boats - he was just out of this world," he said.

Bournemouth Air Festival organisers issued a statement on September 5, describing their 'huge relief' that both Kirsten and Dave had been rescued safely.

"We would like to thank the RNLI, Coastguard, South West Ambulance, Dorset Police, Poole Harbour Commissioners and all those who took part in the rescue of the two people aboard the aircraft," a festival spokesperson said.

"It is a huge relief for all those involved in the Air Festival that the incident has resulted in the display crew being removed from the water safe and well."