Skydivers fall towards America's Cup port before the Louis Vuitton Cup winners ceremony in Valencia
Skydivers fall towards America's Cup port before the Louis Vuitton Cup winners ceremony in Valencia, June 6, 2007. Team New Zealand completed a 5-0 whitewash of Italian syndicate Luna Rossa on Wednesday to win the Louis Vuitton Cup and earn the right to challenge Swiss defenders Alinghi for the 32nd America's Cup. REUTERS/Victor Fraile

Thirteen skydivers in New Zealand managed to parachute to safety after the skydiving aircraft encountered engine trouble. The skydivers safely landed on North Island, while the plane plunged into a lake.

The skydiving plane was moving for a tandem skydiving session over Lake Taupo. It experienced an engine problem soon after take-off. "All parachutists including the pilot exited the plane and landed safely," ABC news quotes Skydive Taupo Chief Executive Roy Clements. Mike Richards, New Zealand's Civil Aviation Authority spokesman, said that it was no short of a miracle that nobody had been killed. He also said that there was an investigation under way. The Transport Accident Investigation Commission also said that an inquiry had been opened into the accident. The commission said that there would be four investigators. While one of the investigators is going to work from Wellington, three others have travelled to Taupo to start inquiries. They are going to focus primarily on securing evidence like flight information and the wreckage. They are also going to gather information from witnesses as well as those who have been involved in the accident.

According to one of the witnesses, people on nearby boats rushed within minutes for the rescue of the skydivers. She said that people reached out to the skydivers even if they "had to launch their boats from their holiday homes." Police spokeswoman Kim Perks confirmed that all the people on board, including the pilot and six crew members and six passengers, landed safely. Medical staff checked the survivors and, according to Perks, none of them suffered any significant injuries. She also said that each of the crew members had plans to tandem dive with each passenger. They managed to do that when they abandoned the plane after the apparent engine failure. Even the pilot managed to leap to safety in a parachute.

The skydiving company involved in the accident offers skydives from up to 15,000 feet. Fox News reports that the company offers up to one minute of free fall. "You shimmy to the door until your feet are dangling over the edge. 3..2...1. out you go!!!!!" the company Web site says.

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