Federal officials announced Sunday that a man appeared to have leaped to his death from a helicopter off the coast of Malibu, California, Saturday afternoon.
The Federal Aviation Administration told the Los Angeles Times that the pilot informed investigators that his passenger jumped out of the Robinson R22 helicopter at around 1:10 p.m. while the aircraft was a mile south of the Malibu Pier.
CBS Los Angeles reports that according to the lead detective on the case, the pilot tilted the aircraft and tried to keep the 42-year-old man, who remains unidentified, from jumping out of the helicopter. The pilot had to divert his attention from his passenger to stabilize the aircraft.
County lifeguards recovered the man’s body, and the Los Angeles County Fire Department pronounced the man dead at the scene.
Authorities say it is unclear whether the man intentionally jumped or accidentally fell to his death. The Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department reportedly found a suicide note but did not release its contents, the Malibu Patch reports.
The Los Angeles County coroner’s office has not released the victim’s identity because it had not been able to contact next of kin.
The sheriff’s office and the Federal Aviation Administration are continuing to investigate the incident.