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Plane crashes, woman dies, survivor films and takes selfie

A month after a small plane crash in Hawaii, a surviving passenger shows GoPro footage and even a selfie taken during the ordeal.

Ferdinand Puentes' image of himself in the water.
KHON-TV Screenshot by Chris Matyszczyk/CNET

Would you have done the same?

Ferdinand Puentes was one of nine passengers in a 2002 Cessna Grand Caravan which suddenly suffered engine failure off Kalaupapa, Molokai in Hawaii last month.

As he heard the engine fail and saw the plane heading for the water, one of his first instincts was to turn on his GoPro camera and film what might have been his own demise.

As KHON-TV reports, Puentes knew the danger he was in, yet the decision to film as much as possible might perplex a few.

He managed to get out of the plane alive and survived the crash. However, while he was floating on a seat cushion and wearing his life vest, he took a selfie.

Was the impulse to record just a natural reaction? After all, any bystander or news organization would have likely done the same thing. And these days everyone is using their phones to film just about everything they see.

But wouldn't one's first instinct be to try to contact family and friends to say goodbye? Perhaps that did happen.

The footage reflects a quite stunning lack of panic. The passengers behave in an orderly manner. There is no screaming or pushing. No one seems frantic at all.

Loretta Fuddy, Hawaii's 65-year-old state director of health, died in the crash, despite managing to leave the plane.

In watching Puentes talk to KHON-TV, though, it's evident that the footage brings back painful memories.

Would everyone want to have such ready access to a reminder? Or would some prefer to forget?

"You could have died," Puentes told KHON-TV. "There's so much variations that could have happened for the worse."