A family had a dramatic rescue from the Mexican jungle after their small plane crashed and broke into pieces while they were on a trip of a lifetime to visit the Mayan ruins.

William Carpmael, 46, and his family miraculously walked away from the wreckage, the Telegraph reported.

Carpmael was travelling with his wife Anna, 48, and their two children on a light aircraft when it got into difficulties leaving them stranded in the jungle for three hours as search teams tried to find them.

Carpmael, a former associate director at former London-based investment bank SBC Warburg who studied mathematics at Jesus College, Cambridge, praised their "hero" pilot for saving their lives.

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"We are all ok, thanks to our hero pilot Alan and our guardian angels. George has a couple of stitches but otherwise just bruises and sprains," he tweeted.

"Certainly ticked the adventure box but we are very lucky. Alan is also ok, but had a large head wound that we bandaged up. Back at hotel."

The craft had begun to lose altitude and came down on in a remote area of dense vegetation 10 miles from the nearest main road.

Their pilot Francisco Alan Rodriguez suffered injuries to his head, while the Carpmael family escaped unharmed.

Footage shows Carpmael, a Cambridge University graduate now living in London but originally from Hook, Wokingham, smiling as he was led out of the jungle by rescue teams after his family's dramatic escape.

The crash happened about 9.30am local time on Thursday shortly after the plane took off from an airstrip in the tourist resort of Playa del Carmen.

Local reports said it began to experience problems, thought to be the result of a mechanical failure, shortly after take-off.

Several teams of police, firefighters and paramedics were mobilised to try to locate the light aircraft, a Cessna 207 belonging to a firm called Aero Saab.

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The plane, which came down around 10 miles from a quarry and port on the Quintana Roo coast of Mexico known as Calizas Industriales del Carmen, had broken in half on impact with the ground.

The plane crashed in a remote area.
The plane crashed in a remote area.

A spokesman for the town hall in Solidaridad, the municipality where the plane was found, said: "Solidaridad Town Hall can confirm that five people have been rescued alive following the accident that occurred on Thursday morning in the south of the municipality, in which a light aircraft crashed in the jungle more than nine miles from Calizas Industriales del Carmen (CALICA).

"Civil Protection officials have confirmed the four passengers as well as the pilot were rescued following a search involving federal, state and municipal security and emergency workers.

"The pilot Francisco A.R was taken to hospital to be treated for his injuries.

"The four passengers from London, didn't appear to have any serious injuries.

"The light aircraft was a Cessna 207 belonging to the company Aero Saab and it was heading from Playa del Carmen to Chichen Itza.

"The cause of the accident is not yet known but it is believed to be down to a mechanical failure."

More than two million tourists visit the area every year.