Israeli police say four people were killed, including a British tourist, when a helicopter crashed into the Mediterranean Sea off the Israeli coast.

Police spokesman Micky Rosenfeld said the civilian helicopter crashed about 300 meters from the seaside city of Netanya Tuesday afternoon, killing all four people aboard, including the pilot. He said one passenger was a British tourist and the others were Israelis. Names of the dead were not released.

Witnesses told Israel Radio they saw the helicopter spinning out of control and splashing into the ocean.

Divers recovered the bodies.

Rosenfeld said the crash was probably caused by a mechanical malfunction.