The helicopter that crashed into the Pauatahanui Inlet in Wellington has been salvaged this afternoon.

Pilot Rick Lucas clambered uninjured from the chopper after it crashed into Porirua Harbour just after 11.30am on Tuesday.

Lucas said he knew something was wrong when he felt "quite an intense vibration that got worse and worse" before the helicopter began to rotate.

He tried to stop it but the helicopter hit the water with a "significant impact".

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The helicopter crashed into the harbour at Porirua on Tuesday. Photo / Melissa Nightingale
The helicopter crashed into the harbour at Porirua on Tuesday. Photo / Melissa Nightingale
Rick Lucas escaped the downed helicopter uninjured on Tuesday. Photo / Marty Melville
Rick Lucas escaped the downed helicopter uninjured on Tuesday. Photo / Marty Melville

"I ended up under the water, couldn't get my seatbelt off," he said.

"I'm a little bit sore, but I'm fine," he said on Tuesday. "I consider myself very lucky."

Police, ambulance, fire services and the Coastguard worked together to pluck him to safety.

The chopper was retrieved from the water this afternoon.